Is Friday the 13th a Lucky Day to Play the Lottery?

Superstitious or not, most people are aware that Friday the 13th is considered the unluckiest day of the year by many in the western world. Lost your wallet? Got into a car accident? You might want to check your calendar! There’s even a phobia called Friggatriskaidekaphobia, which is the fear of Friday the 13th. But does this day of misfortune affect your odds of winning the next US Powerball jackpot? And can buying lottery tickets on Friday the 13th actually bring you luck?

What are the Origins of Friday the 13th?


There are many theories going back centuries as to how the fear of Friday the 13th came about. This infamous day has deep roots in western culture, including Christian theology and Norse mythology.

The number thirteen is significant in Christianity as it's the number of people who were present at the Last Supper (Jesus and his twelve apostles). Judas, the apostle w­ho betrayed Jesus, was the 13th member of the party to arrive. Friday was also the day when Jesus was said to have been crucified by the Romans.

Norse mythology has a story similar to Christianity’s Last Supper - including the unlucky number of dinner guests. Odin, the god of war, invited 11 other gods to a party. Loki the god of mischief and chaos did not take very well to being uninvited and decided to make a surprise appearance. Consequently, a fight ensued, and Baldur, the god of love and Thor’s brother was killed. While we don’t know if this party took place on a Friday, this legend did turn 13 into an unlucky number across Scandinavia.

Today, you can find apartment buildings, hotels, and skyscrapers with no 13th floor, street addresses that skip from 12 to 14, and some airports with no 13th gate.

Are there Other Unlucky Days You Should Know About?

In Spain and Latin America, it’s Tuesday the 13th which is the day of misfortune. There's even a saying that goes “En martes, ni te cases, ni te embarques, ni de tu casa te apartes.” (On Tuesday, do not marry, nor embark, nor leave your home).

So why is Tuesday unlucky? A historical event that coincides with Tuesday the 13th, and one of the primary reasons it’s considered unlucky is the fall of Constantinople, the capital of the Byzantine empire, which happened on Tuesday, 13 April 1204. Tuesday is also said to be ruled by Mars, the god of war and bloodshed.

In Italy, it’s Friday the 17th that stresses people out. On this day, also called “un giorno nero" (a black day), many Italians avoid leaving home for fear of bad luck. Important meetings, celebrations, and major decisions are also postponed.

Like other western countries, Italians fear Friday due to the connection to Jesus’s death. However, the number 17 has been considered unlucky since the days of the Roman empire when it was written as the roman numeral XVII. This could be changed anagrammatically to VIXI, reminding Italians of the Latin language phrase that translates to "I have lived", which can also be understood as, "My life is over". With this explanation in mind, we think it's totally understandable why some would refrain from testing their luck!

If we head east, it’s the number 4 that causes worry when scheduling big events like celebrations or business openings. In Chinese and Japanese, the number 4 is considered unlucky because the sound of the word is very similar to the word for death.

Playing the Lottery on Friday the 13th - Brilliant or Bad Idea?

We’re happy to say that there’s actually no concrete evidence pointing to bad lottery luck on Friday the 13th. While many players may refrain from entering a draw on this day, some actually believe the opposite; that it boosts your odds of winning!

In fact, US Mega Millions has awarded 7 jackpots on Friday the 13ths, the most noteworthy of which was the $1.348 billion top prize won on 13 January 2023 – one of the biggest prizes in lottery history!

Another lottery to put your Friday the 13th fears to rest is France Loto! This European lottery combats bad luck with a special draw where players who dare buy to a ticket get a chance at winning a boosted €13 million jackpot and participate in a raffle with 50 guaranteed winners!

Players Who Found Fortune on Friday the 13th


Are there actually lottery winners who struck luck on Friday the 13th? Winning the lottery is not an everyday affair, so imagine the shock when Kevin and Stefanie Blake found out that their Mega Millions lottery ticket won the $42 million jackpot on Friday, 13 October 2017 - the unluckiest day of the year! The Michigan couple split their prize with an anonymous winner from Rhode Island, landing them each a $21 million piece of the pie. Kevin Blake told reporters that he didn't even realize it was Friday the 13th when he played!

So, what do you think? Is Friday the 13th a day of tragedy and misfortune or just another day of the week? If you think that this day may bring you more luck than usual, maybe it's time to push your luck and try playing the lottery online!