Difference Between Luck and Superstition



Make your own luck by doing your best – superstitions are just a reminder that luck is unpredictable.

Cynthia Lan, Photojournalist

People classify luck by good luck and bad luck, while superstitions are in a variety of different forms. “It’s just my luck” some people say after they get something too easily. “Don’t open an umbrella inside! It brings you bad luck.” That‘s superstition. Now you might be confused. If both these two sentences mentioned luck, then what is the difference between these two?


First of all, luck is more of a notion that things happen out of chance. In particular, millions of American people buy lottery tickets each year even though they know there is only a slight chance, but they are always willing to buy one to see if they will be lucky to win something. I remember my dad said that he was always willing to buy lottery tickets in a year when he feels like he’s been having a lot of luck during a certain week, and one time, he was so lucky that he won 10 dollars from the lottery tickets he bought. People define that as a fortune happening to them. 


Superstition, on the other hand, is a set of beliefs and practices that are seen as a way of bringing the things that might happen in a chance (good or bad luck). It is not based on scientific evidence, but is based on anecdotal evidence, belief, and traditions. Like the number 13, you might have noticed that the 13th floor in a building is usually replaced by 12A and 12B. A lot of people just don’t like this number because “In Norse mythology, the god Loki was the 13th to arrive at a feast in Valhalla, where he tricked another attendee into killing the god Baldur. In Christianity, Judas — the apostle who betrayed Jesus — was the 13th guest at the Last Supper”(rd.com).


Moreover, you can choose to believe in superstitions or not. However in some cultures, superstitions are an integral part of daily life. Some of these superstitions include people thinking everything is against them when things aren’t going right, believing that hard work does change your luck and gives you opportunities that increases your chances of success, that doing your best can give you self-confidence, and that confidence takes you through challenges to be more successful. It’s just a reminder that luck is unpredictable and it’s up to you to make the best of it. Vivian Lin (9) mentioned that she would be very devoutly saying the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag before each exam or competitions, as she felt it would ensure that the important task ahead of her would be completed successfully. This is her superstition that she believes in that often brought her peace of mind.


Here are 10 interesting superstitions that a lot of people know. Check out how much you know.


  1. Horseshoes are a sign of good luck
  2. Breaking a mirror brings seven years of bad luck
  3. A penny found face up brings good luck
  4. Spilling salt brings bad luck
  5. A rabbit’s foot brings good luck
  6. Black cats are bad luck
  7. If you hear an owl hoot, it’s a sign of good luck
  8. Walking under a ladder brings bad luck
  9. If a bird poops on you, it’s good luck
  10. Touching an iron will bring you good luck