Talk of The Town: March 2020

Get Lucky

Looking for a little extra luck? This month we’re getting to know some of the world’s luckiest people, traveling to faraway locales bursting with good fortune, and exploring incredible superstitions from across the globe.

Keep Luck On Your Side

Bursting with good fortune, each of these spots offers visitors a chance to ensure Lady Luck is always on their side.

  • The Lincoln Tomb
    Springfield, Illinois
    While he may strike some as an unlikely charm, Honest Abe’s shiny nose is said to have brought luck to visitors from around the globe.
  • Il Porcellino
    Florence, Italy
    This Baroque-era bronze is so popular amongst visitors asking for good luck that it’s spawned dozens of replicas all over the world!
  • The Magic Owl of Dijon
    Dijon, France
    This small wooden owl has granted wishes to those who stroke his little face for the past three centuries.
  • Dubrovnik Maskeron
    Dubrovnik, Croatia
    Legend has it that if you hop on this gargoyle’s head, keep your balance, and take off your shirt while facing the wall, you’ll get lucky in love.
  • Paris Point Zero
    Paris, France
    Located at the center of the city, all you have to do is spin in a circle (on one foot, no less) atop this marker to gain your heart’s desire.
  • Hill of Crosses
    Hiiu Parish, Estonia
    Planting a homemade twig cross at this location can inspire a lasting partnership.

Can You Believe It?

From happening upon world-altering inventions to surviving some seriously hairy situations, these historical figures prove that some people just have all the luck!

Teddy Roosevelt
The former U.S. President had a reputation for being a stubborn fighter. So stubborn, in fact, he survived an up-close assassination attempt in 1912. The bullet was lodged in Roosevelt’s rib, slowed by a 50-page speech and an eyeglass case tucked in his pocket. Roosevelt refused medical attention, and went on to give his campaign speech famously saying, “It takes more than that to kill a bull moose.”

Roy Sullivan
Did you know that the odds of being struck by lightning in your lifetime are 1 in 12,000? These odds came as little comfort to park ranger Roy Sullivan, who survived seven lightning strikes over the course of 35 years.

Charles XIV John of Sweden
Born the son of a French lawyer in 1763, Jean-Baptiste Bernadotte went on to become King of Sweden—mostly because he was a nice guy. Bernadotte had a lengthy military career, and gained respect from adversaries and troops alike. In 1810, a childless King Charles XIII led Sweden to conduct a search for an heir, settling on Bernadotte due primarily to his kindness and the restraint shown to Swedish soldiers during his military career.

Harrison Ford
This Hollywood legend landed a lifetime of luck during his younger years, spurring his acting career. Ford had an acting contract with Columbia and Universal studios, but was primarily working as a carpenter when he helped George Lucas audition actors for principal parts. He had no idea he was being considered for the role of Han Solo, a part that would launch his career.

Joan Ginther
Often called the “luckiest woman in the world,” this Texan mathematician has won multimillion-dollar jackpots four times! She’s raked in $20 million, but due to her background in statistics many believe she’s not lucky at all, she just knows how to play the odds.

Constantin Fahlberg
This chemist secured himself a sweet spot in history, completely by accident. While he takes much of the credit for creating artificial sweeteners, Fahlberg wasn’t the first scientist to discover saccharin—but he was the first chemist to realize that saccharin was a sweet and edible chemistry accident. Legend has it that after working in his lab, Fahlberg ate a roll and noticed that it tasted sweet due to the saccharin residue on his hand. His patents for mass-produced artificial sweetener would go on to revolutionize the food industry.

Very Superstitious 

You may not believe in them, but these strange superstitions from around the world will definitely surprise you!

  1. Being gifted a pair of scissors or a knife is thought to sever a relationship, and giving a penny in exchange will cancel out the ill effects of this present.
  2. You may consider it bad etiquette, but in Britain it’s considered bad luck to place someone’s shoes on a table.
  3. Stepping in dog poop isn’t necessarily unlucky—in France, it’s only bad luck if you step with your right foot.
  4. According to Japanese superstition, sleeping with your head to the north invites bad luck into your home.
  5. Expectant mothers who are craving fish should give into their cravings. In Canada, superstition says if you don’t, you’ll end up having a baby with a fish-head.
  6. Never say “cheers” with water! Raising a toast with water is akin to wishing death upon the people you’re drinking with in Germany.
  7. In Serbia, dripping water behind someone is good luck. Dumping it on them, however, is still rude.
  8. In several cultures, putting your purse or wallet on the floor mean you’ll end up penniless. So remember to never place your belongings on the floor—it’s better to be safe!