[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Monday, 19 April 2004, 10:09 GMT 11:09 UK
Are birthdays linked to luck?
row of babies in cots
A report for the Edinburgh science festival has found a link between the perceived luck of a person and the month of their birth.

A summer-winter divide suggests that people born between March and August consider themselves luckier than those born between September and February. May was found to be the luckiest month and October the unluckiest.

People who considered themselves as lucky were thought to be skilled at noticing opportunities, listening to their initiative and maintaining positive expectations.

Do you think there is a link between your birth month and how lucky you are?


This debate is now closed. Read your comments below.

if you think positive thoughts, positive things happen
John, Essex, UK
I work on two methods. Conrad Hilton ( of Hotel fame) said that if you think positive thoughts, positive things happen. I think this is true.This is not luck, but a positive approach. Secondly I agree with Mr Micawber- That something will turn up! This is luck, but not always good!
John, Essex, UK

No wonder I don't have a girlfriend yet since I was born in september.
George Nipah, England

Luck is in your genes, parents, economic strata, place of birth and race. Plus, being at the right time, place and meet the right people.
Tere, USA

There was only a 7% difference in the numbers of people who thought themselves lucky in the luckiest and unluckiest months. Allowing for statistical error, that's not so great a difference.
Paul Keeling, Welling, Kent

It is all down to how you look at life. Go forward with a smile and expecting the best and it will happen. Born in November, I happen to be one of the luckiest people I know in every aspect, I am usually successful in two out of every three job interviews, have great friends and family, and things always seem to fall into place for me. It's about recognising the opportunity, believing you can do it and just going for it. It seems like just another excuse for those happy to wallow in the "blame culture"!
Lisa, Wales

What I believe the research is saying is that people born in these months have a more optimistic view of life - for whatever reason. If the research was carried out in the Southern hemisphere, I would expect to see similar results for people born in the corresponding 'sunny' months. It's nothing hokey, it's fairly logical. Don't you feel better, getting up to a sunny day, than a cold, rainy, miserable one ?
Martin, Umeċ, Sweden

What a load of twaddle!! My mum has had the worst possible life imaginable despite being born in the supposedly 'lucky' month of April. I, on the other hand, was born in that 'unlucky' month of September and have always fallen on my feet very nicely. More money than sense some of these researchers!
Kiltie, Staffs, UK

Babies born in May to August are among the eldest in their years at state schools. It has long been known that this gives them an advantage in sport, academics and confidence.
Clare, UK

Your comments:

I was born on 29 February and in all honesty I have had mixed fortunes
Stephen Williams, Milton Keynes, UK
I was born on 29 February and in all honesty I have had mixed fortunes. I think it is the person who deals with bad luck in a positive way who will ultimately do well.
Stephen Williams, Milton Keynes, UK

Silliness. Yet another group of scientists trying to reduce the human condition to a simple equation or phenomenon. Wasted effort, no doubt funded by tax dollars.
Phil Smith, Fairfax, USA

It is not your birth date that governs your luck. Your ability to focus on your most important needs and objectives leads to an ability to recognise positive opportunities. A realistic and optomistic view of life coupled with an energetic pursuit of your key objectives produces luck.
Tom Sneddon, Calgary, Canada

I have just conducted my own survey based on a population of one. I found that people born in September seem to be both the luckiest and most unlucky people in my census. Is there a decent publication which will print my findings? I'll put graphs in and everything.
Andy Smith, Gateshead, UK

This sort of research is about as useful as finding out that people with blue eyes have better dental health
Lorraine, St Albans, UK
Corellate any two lists and you'll find patterns. This sort of research is about as useful as finding out that people with blue eyes have better dental health or people with large feet pass more exams. You can't alter your birthday, eye colour or shoe size so why on earth worry?
Lorraine, St Albans, UK

It is absolutely conclusive. I was born in December, and I have never won the lottery.
Andrew Cover, London UK

Howling at the moon at regular intervals helps, too.
Laurenz Hüsler, Switzerland

"Luck" seems to be a bad choice of word for this survey. It seems to be more to do with optimism.
JMW, Reading, UK

The spring baby will have all summer to build up its immune system, and will get more daylight and fresh air than a winter baby
John Rouse, Chesterfield, England
People born in May were conceived in August. The mother was likely to be well nourished, and eating more fresh fruit and vegetables than winter mums. A baby carried in summer will have more stimulation in the womb, as the mother will be wearing lighter clothing, and likely to get more outdoor exercise than in winter. The spring baby will have all summer to build up its immune system, and will get more daylight and fresh air than a winter baby. There are far too many variables for this to be a valid scientific experiment.
John Rouse, Chesterfield, England

Absolute rubbish
Fred, Norwich, UK
Absolute rubbish. I can't believe how ridiculous it is that someone would waste their time on such a load of... ...hang on, now I'm doing it to! Aaarrrggghhhh!
Fred, Norwich, UK

If any government money went to fund this research, I would consider all of Great Britain to be unlucky!
Jeff, Springfield, VA, USA

After reading a few paragraphs I scrolled to the top of the page to see if I had missed this article on April Fool's Day.
Cornelia Sutphin, NY USA

Given that the hypothesis that summer-born babies are luckier was widely publicised before the survey, it is hardly surprising that they got the results they suggested.
Adam, London, UK

I suggest a replication involving persons born in the southern hemisphere where the seasons are reversed
Jonathan Finkelstein, USA
I suggest a replication involving persons born in the southern hemisphere where the seasons are reversed. Those born in March through August would be expected to consider themselves as less lucky than those born in September through February, if the climate is a causative factor.
Jonathan Finkelstein, Ellicott City, Maryland, USA

Surely luck is the most subjective thing ever? Whoever did this report must have a lot of time in their hands indeed!
Mary J, London UK

Of course it's true - those born between March and August get presents at decent intervals (Christmas and birthday) whereas those of us born between Sept and Feb get them all in a short space of time and have longer to wait until the next load.
Robert Dunn, Edinburgh, Scotland

those born between March and August get presents at decent intervals
Robert Dunn, Edinburgh, Scotland
Yes definitely, but not in the way suggested in the poll description. According to popular astrology, depending on your date of birth, you will be luckier when doing certain specific type of activities as opposed to other types. Quite a lot of research has been done on this subject and any good book on astrology will give you a complete list of activities where each individual is likely to be lucky depending on his/her date of birth.
Mess, Africa

I was born in October & throughout my life I've won many competitions often through luck. Just because some people think they're lucky it doesn't mean they are. The reason anyone enters the lottery is because they think they are lucky. I suspect that if you check on the birthdates of lottery winners they are spread the same as the population in general.
Phil, Bath, UK

What utter dross and cobblers. You make your own 'luck' and you control your own destiny. The sooner weak minded fools accept those facts the sooner they'll just get on with their lives and accept what comes as part of it.
Lee Furness, Blyth, Northumberland

You make your own 'luck' and you control your own destiny
Lee, Northumberland
I have a friend who was born on the 29th of February. Earlier this year he had his 8th birthday although he has a five-o'clock shadow at 2 in the afternoon. He also rates as one of the most unlucky person I have ever met. If birthdays are linked to luck - I reckon the 29th Feb is the daddy.
Toby, Surrey

I wonder if the professor also considered his participants region of birth in the study. I was born in Cameroon where December happens to be a hot month. Would I consider myself lucky or not based on the facts of this study?
Zeh, U.S

Good worthwhile research. Still no cure for Cancer?
Toby, London

I can sort of see the scientists point of view. Two of my brothers were born in July and are quite positive, on the other hand my other brother and I were born in February and November respectively - and we are quite pessimistic and very sarcastic. Just a hunch but I think a lot of it was, many of our birthday treats were cancelled due to bad weather, whereas, my summer brothers had parties outside the lot - sort of makes you pessimistic doesn't it!!
Menna, Wales

Many of our birthday treats were cancelled due to bad weather

Menna, Wales
Absolute self-fulfilling rubbish. People who think themselves luckier and maintain a positive expectation/worldview will naturally feel like they do better. Maybe the research was more detailed but this tells us nothing new or helpful. Or should we feel damned by our star-signs? Born January 1st and 'luckier' than most.
Simon, Cambridge, UK

Simon from Cambridge is wrong. I spent ages trying to think myself lucky, and then I got the sack ,dumped and run over within an hour of each other. How does he explain that ?
Dan, Brixton, UK

For Dan, Brixton, UK. Sorry to hear about your troubles, but with a positive viewpoint: You'll get an insurance payout, disability benefit and you're almost certainly better off dumped than if you'd married them first and they were taking half your insurance payout for being run over. Chin up.
Simon, Cambridge, UK

My Mother was born in May and never had any luck. My sister was born in May and is one of the most negative people I know. When were the scientists who researched this codswallop born? Seems to me they was very lucky to be awarded money for research!
Wendy, UK

Luck is just perception
Stuart F, UK
Luck is just perception, surely it is Nurture that encourages the 'lucky' to realise opportunities and not Nature. Some people are raised to view a bad experience as a lesson rather than a punishment and feel lucky, they do not usually dwell on their 'bad luck' either but dust off and move on.
Stuart F, UK

My brother was born in October and has been unlucky many times. My sister was born in May and is always very positive. I being born in August has been both lucky and unlucky. Makes perfect sense to me.
Pradeep Dhavakumar, Alabama,USA

Isn't this what astrologers claim to have known for a long time?
Guido, Antwerp

I have rarely heard such a complete load of rubbish! Do these people actually get paid money for this?
MJA, Germany

Superstitious bolony! How on earth can one's birth month affect one's lot in life? Good or bad luck as it is called is a random thing just like winning the Lottery and whereas some people do appear to have 'all the luck' whereas others never seem to succeed whatever they try, this cannot be attributed to when you are born. Other factors such as education, inherited qualities, environment and family are all more likely reasons. It's like horoscopes, the predictions may apply to a random view but people actually believe such unscientific garbage and run their lives by them.
Rosalind Mercer, Bedford, U.K.

Yet another useless survey serving no purpose what so ever
Richard, London
No. This survey totally failed to recognise that people born in the Southern hemisphere do not have their summer between May to August. Yet another useless survey serving no purpose what so ever.
Richard, London

No way! There is no link whatsoever between birth month and how lucky some one is or will be. In fact no month is better than the other. It is out of wishful thinking that people come up with fake ideologies. Luck is largely (if not solely) destined by the almighty God. Man does little (or nothing) in making what and/or who he is.
Alpha, Saudi Arabia

My birthday is in May, but the way things are going at the moment, its the unluckiest month as far as I'm concerned!
Luke, London, UK





PRODUCTS AND SERVICES

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific