Category: Lucky News

Colin Farrell Loses His Lucky Belt

Colin Farrell is reportedly offering a generous reward for the return of his lucky belt.

The Fright Night star was given the leather belt by his dad, former footballer Eamonn Farrell and is thought to have paid almost £3,000 having it repaired over the years.

Colin has lost the belt and according to The Sun is so keen to get it back he is considering making a wanted poster for it and offering a £16,000 reward for its safe return.

The 35-year-old actor has had extra holes punched in the belt and leather added to it as he has lost and gained weight over the years.

The In Bruges star is very proud of his dad, revealing in an interview in 2003, “I wish I’d have a f****** penny for every time I said to someone in a bar, ‘My dad is Eamonn Farrell and he used to play for Shamrock Rovers.’ ”

He added: “I have a big scrapbook of newspaper clippings and his jersey with three shamrocks on the back in mothballs.”

Colin is also very superstitious, admitting in 2004 that he wears the same boxer shorts – a present from his brother – whenever he starts work on a film.

He revealed they are “covered with shamrocks, and the waistband says, ‘The luck of the Irish’.”

–Reblogged from Press Assocation

The Luckiest Snickers Bar In The World

HOW A $0.95 SNICKERS BAR WON THESE 7 PEOPLE $319 MILLION by Douglas Montero and Bob Fredericks, NYPOST.

Chocolate never tasted this rich.

A state information-technology worker’s fateful craving for a 95-cent Snickers bar put him in the right place at the right time to score a Mega Millions ticket worth a sweet $319 million.

“I like the Snickers Dark and I say, ‘I gotta have one of those,’ ” a jubilant Mike Barth, 63, said yesterday, explaining how he scored the winning ducat at Coulson’s News Center last Friday for himself and six co-workers.

“I pull myself out of the line to get the candy bar, and this guy jumps in front of me,” he said. “I’m like, ‘I should say something,’ but I behaved myself.”

Letting the jerk slide was a good bet for Barth.

“I bought the next ticket — the winning ticket!” he said.

Barth’s winning Quick Pick ticket beat the Mega Millions lottery’s 1-in-176 million odds, making him and his colleagues, who slave away maintaining the computer systems for the state housing agency, rich enough to help bail out Albany.

The geek squad from the Homes and Community Renewal agency — an umbrella group of state housing bureaus — made their first public appearance yesterday as newly-minted multimillionaires at State Lottery headquarters in Schenectady.

As for five co-workers who normally participate in the office pool but decided to take a pass this time around, one winner said the losers had no one to blame but themselves.

“We asked everybody on the floor. Some of us got in, and some of us didn’t,” said Gabrielle Mahar, 29. “You’ve got to play to win!”

While no decisions have been made, several winners suggested they might take mercy on their out-of-luck pals and share some of the wealth.

“It’s going to be up to the individual,” said Leon Peck, 62.

The newly dubbed “Albany Seven” winners also include Tracy Sussman, 41; John Hilton, 57; John Kutey, 54; and Kristin Baldwin, 42.

The work pals typically kicked in $2 apiece whenever the Mega Millions jackpot topped $100 million — four times last year and twice so far this year.

They’ve chosen the lump-sum option, which will pay them $19.1 million each after taxes.

Mahar said she was at home watching the 11 o’clock news with her boyfriend last Friday night when the winning numbers flashed across the screen.

She thought the drawing was Thursday, so she’d already tossed her photocopy of the tickets into the recycling bin and had to dig it out.

“I checked it, I rechecked it, and I rechecked it, and I couldn’t believe it was real,” she said.

Mahar called her mother but didn’t want to wake Baldwin, her supervisor.

“You have to call her, Gabrielle, it’s the Mega Millions!” her mother told her.

They started spreading the news first thing Saturday.

Peck, known as the office prankster, thought his co-workers were turning the tables when he started getting one call after another.

“But I didn’t think anyone would be calling that early on a Saturday to play a joke,” he said.

The winners decided that Hilton — who lived closest to work — had to go get the ticket, which they’d stashed in a desk drawer.

Taking one of his grown sons along, he drove to the Hampton Building on State Street.

Back home, Hilton asked himself, “What am I going to do with it now? I’m frantic now.”

He took the ticket and placed it inside a Ziploc bag, then buried it in a 5-pound pail of birdseed, which he hid in his basement. “I didn’t know what else to do,” he said.

The group agreed to meet at Baldwin’s home Sunday and devise a plan. They dropped out of sight until yesterday to huddle with legal and financial wizards.

The winners said they’ve given little thought to how they’ll use their fortunes, except for a few immediate necessities and indulgences.

Mahar wants a dishwasher, Sussman needs to replace a stove that gave out a few weeks back, and Barth could use a set of tires — and pay his son’s college tuition.

Others are dreaming of travel.

Kutey, who flies a Disney flag at his home, said he and his wife plan to visit Disney parks all over the world.

“We haven’t been to Disney since last August,” he said. “I’m sure she’s going to want to go. We’re like two big kids.”

Mahar said she wants to travel extensively, and help people less fortunate than her.

Hilton said he’s not sure where he’s going — but knows he’ll be flying first class.

Peck, meanwhile, has his priorities straight — taking care of his mother first with a new car.

Barth credited the “fickle finger of fate.” Lottery officials agreed, saying there’s no guarantee Barth would have gotten the winning numbers had the other guy not cut in on line.

“Random luck is all about being in the right place at the right time,” said lottery spokeswoman Carolyn Hapeman.

And Barth had a final word for the line-cutter: “Ha, ha, ha, you never know.”

The Luckiest Tourists in New York?

The mid-air collision between a helicopter and a private plane over the Hudson River last week was a horrific tragedy, but if there’s a tiny silver lining in all of this, it’s that by sheer luck two other deaths were avoided. Paola Casali, a tourist from Rome, and her 13-year-old son were also supposed to be on the doomed helicopter tour, but arrived just minutes after the helicopter took off. They were not late, as they had been told to arrive between noon and 1pm, but somehow the flight had already departed. As they waited for the next helicopter, news broke of the accident.

Casali told the New York Times that “she felt that it was fate or some kind of divine intervention” that prevented them from being on the ill-fated flight. ”I feel so confused, but but I feel the we are so lucky,” she said.

To read the full story, click HERE. And if you have any stories involving a lucky experience that possibly saved your life, please submit them to The Luck Guide.

–Kevin

(Photo by Rahav Segev for The New York Times)

Is this the Luckiest Casino in the World?

In the Asian gambling mecca of Macau, the Wynn Resort’s lucky streak has been going on for so long that it’s left many gaming industry watchers baffled. According to an article in the Wall Street Journal’s Market Watch website, the Wynn Macau has been defying the odds in high-roller baccarat.  The resort’s baccarat winning percentage, otherwise known as the “hold rate,” has been abnormally high for nine straight quarters. So high, in fact, that Credit Suisse has labeled it a “supernormal win percentage.”

None of this, however, means that gamblers playing at the Wynn are getting any luckier. Rather, it’s the casino that’s making out like a bandit. Its 3.6% hold rate on VIP baccarat translates to an additional $80.25 million in gross revenues during the quarter. For all the details, click HERE. But be warned: even if you play baccarat better than Agent 007, you may need an MBA to fully understand the financial minutiae of this article.

–Kevin

Luck of the Irish?

Luck of the Irish?

It’s Saint Patrick’s Day, and in the pubs of Ireland (and in pubs all over the world, for that matter), people of Irish ancestry will no doubt be celebrating this occasion with full force. There will be parades, people proudly wearing their lucky green outfits, handing out shamrocks, and much toasting to the “luck of the Irish.”  But wait a minute–have we ever stopped to really consider this popular phrase? Are the Irish really that lucky? Luckier than the rest of us?

As it turns out, the phrase had its origins as an ethnic slur. It was a sarcastic quip, basically implying that the Irish had no luck at all, or that any Irish man or woman who did well had to be lucky rather than smart, hardworking, or talented. In an article by Tara Dooley from the Houston Chronicle, the Irish-American historian Edward T. O’Donnell says, “It is a phrase of derision, a put-down phrase. More than 900 years of domination, oppression, starvation?  I’m kind of hard pressed to understand where it comes from.”  (Read the full story, with more dissections of the phrase HERE.)

Nevertheless, it’s interesting to note that what apparently began as a negative remark has been transformed on this side of the Atlantic into something much more positive. Here, Irish immigrants prospered, and for most Irish-Americans who are celebrating St. Patrick’s Day today, the world is a luckier place than it was for their ancestors. As another Irish saying goes, “If you are lucky enough to be Irish, you are lucky enough.”

–Kevin

(Photo of Carmen and Liam Gray, two lucky kids indeed, by Michael Gray.)

A-List Luck?

A-List Luck?

What do Saks Fifth Avenue president Ron Frasch, ABC News Reporter Gigi Stone, and artist Hunt Slonem have in common? According to New York magazine, they are among a surprising number of “high-powered New Yorkers” who have participated in circulating an e-mail chain letter titled “Chinese Proverb,” which promises good luck to all those who pass it on.  The chain letter has apparently been a hit especially amongst the fashion and media elite, where it seems like even within this jaded crowd, no one is taking their chances when it comes to luck.  CNN reporter Alina Cho (pictured above) admitted, “I forwarded it to twenty of my nearest and dearest. In this economy, we need all the luck we can get.”

To read the full article, click HERE.

–Kevin  

(Photo by Liz O. Baylen for The New York Times)

Will the Year of the Ox be a Lucky One?

Will the Year of the Ox be a Lucky One?

From the 27th floor of my hotel in Hong Kong’s Central District, I had the perfect view of all the New Year’s Eve festivities that were unfolding on December 31st, 2007. At the stroke of midnight, an explosion of fireworks erupted from not one, but six or seven of the gleaming skyscrapers that lined the harbour view. It was a spectacular sight. As all of the friends and relatives that I had invited to share this moment with me responded to the moment with merriment, my aunt commented, “This is going to be a very lucky year…2008, especially with the ‘8,’ which corresponds to prosperity.”

Well, we all know now how that turned out.

Today is the first day of the Chinese New Year. After months of relentless economic disaster around the globe, it seems that even the once unsinkable “economic dragons” of Asia are beginning to falter. The New York Times article published today says it all: “Year of the Ox Is Looking Inauspicious.” (To read the article, click HERE.) The ox, according to the Chinese zodiac, symbolizes calm, hard work, resolve, and tenacity. One could argue that it’s going to take a lot of hard work this year to ensure that good luck and prosperity return again. Perhaps it’s a good thing that America now has a president who was born in the year of the Ox. Yes, Barack Obama was born in the Ox year of August 4, 1961. And five days into his new job, he’s already demonstrating the steadfast, hardworking nature that is associated with the sign.

For more interpretations on how this year could affect your luck, check out some of these articles:

Vancouver Sun: “Seeking predictions for the Year of the Ox”

Reuters: “Feng Shui masters say Ox year likely full of burden”

Examiner: “It’s the Year of the Ox, Obama-style”

–Kevin

The Luckiest Plane Crash Ever

The Luckiest Plane Crash Ever

In the annals of aviation history, has there ever been a plane crash as lucky as US Airways Flight 1549? All 155 passengers and crew survived a crash landing into the frigid waters of the Hudson River last Thursday, January 15th, and as the stories of heroism begin to fill the media blogosphere, there’s also been much discussion of how lucky everyone was. Which brings up the issue of how our own lucky beliefs affects us whenever we entrust our fate to a giant piece of metal weighing hundreds of tons that is supposed to stay aloft in the sky.

Ben Sherwood, in a piece entitled “The Great Plane Crash Myth” from The Daily Beast, confesses, “I’m embarrassed to admit that every time I fly, I go through a litany of superstitious rituals. I always tap the right doorjamb of the plane when I step aboard. During takeoff and landing, I mumble a short prayer that I learned long ago in Sunday school.”

Sherwood’s rituals are not uncommon. Lucky airplane rituals and superstitions seem to abound everywhere when one begins to investigate deeper. Many Italians believe that wearing red underwear when flying will keep them safe. Others believe that carrying a St Christopher’s medal will protect them (He was the patron saint of travelers). Then there is the fixation on numbers. In the airline industry, it is a well documented fact that Friday the 13th is always a slow day.  On airlines like Air France, Lufthansa, KLM, and even Continental, you won’t find a row number 13.  An article in USAToday quotes two airline spokesmen:

“Apparently someone a long time ago (we don’t know when) thought we shouldn’t have a row 13,” says Martin DeLeon, a spokesperson for Continental Airlines. “We have let the row numbering system persist, especially since we don’t want to go through the expense of renumbering rows on about 600 aircraft.”

“Most people wouldn’t want to sit there,” says Judy Graham-Weaver, a spokesperson for AirTran. “Whether we believe in the superstition or not if it’s the perception of the community we need to go by that.”

On Italian airline Alitalia, it’s row number 17 that is missing, since the roman numerals for 17, when rearranged, could spell “VIXI,” which means “I lived” in Italian.  (The numerals also resemble a hangman). Then there is the Japanese carrier All Nippon Airways, which omits row 4 because it sounds like the word for death in their language.

Whatever your ritual or belief, I say it never hurts to have that extra bit of luck on your side when you’re 35,000 miles up in the sky.

–Kevin

(Photo by Gary Hershom/Reuters.)

Picture of the Week

Pictured above is the director Ang Lee leading his traditional on-set “Big Luck Ceremony” to commemorate the start of production on his latest film, Taking Woodstock.

Before a single scene is ever shot on one of his films, Lee, the director of such acclaimed films as Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and Brokeback Mountain performs a ritualistic blessing. This involves gathering the entire cast and crew around a table where fruit, flowers and incense are displayed as symbolic offerings to the luck gods, as well as the calling for bows to the North, South, East, and West. This ensures that luck will permeate the entire film production from all directions.

Taking Woodstock is an adaptation of the memoir of Elliot Tiber, who played a key role in the historic music festival that too place on his neighbor’s farm in 1969. The movie’s impressive lineup of actors include Emile Hirsch (pictured in the V-neck T-shirt), Jonathan Groff (with the bag slung over his shoulder), Imelda Staunton, Henry Goodman, Live Schreiber, Mamie Gummer, Paul Dano, and Eugene Levy.

–Kevin

Luck in Esquire

Who would have thought that Luck: The Essential Guide would inspire a piece of creative fiction? Rozalia Jovanovic’s “Today You Will Put On Blue Egyptian Stockings,” currently featured in Esquire Magazine’s Books Blog, clearly proves that at least one person on the planet has read our book cover to cover. And we’re perhaps a wee bit biased, but we do think that it’s a brilliant and witty exploration into one superstitious male psyche.

Click HERE to read the piece.

–Kevin