Friday the 13th / le vendredi 13

The number 13 and Fridays are usually considered bad or even evil according to Christianity, and the tradition of Friday the 13th being a very unlucky day still persists in many cultures. Yet in France, vendredi le 13 is considered a lucky day when people buy lots of lottery tickets. Have you bought your ticket yet?

As Le Pourquoi du Comment explains, “les jeux de loterie n’ont pas hésité à s’approprier le vendredi 13 pour vendre du hasard à grand renfort de matraquage publicitaire, et pour prendre dans leurs filets, sans avoir à redoubler d’efforts, les esprits les plus cartésians alléchés par l’appât de gains collosaux.”

It’s all about money, of course!  I wonder why the US lotteries haven’t tried to reverse the superstition and get people to buy more tickets. Though getting Americans to stop believing in ridiculous things is a huge battle….

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  • http://toutesdirectionspourlafrance.blogspot.com/ L

    My mil said she was confused by the huge line at the tabac this morning, until she saw all the peopling scratching their various lottery cards and then remembered it was Friday the 13th. I’d forgotten it’s a lucky day in France.
    .-= L´s last blog ..Various pictures of life in Toulouse =-.

  • http://toutesdirectionspourlafrance.blogspot.com L

    My mil said she was confused by the huge line at the tabac this morning, until she saw all the peopling scratching their various lottery cards and then remembered it was Friday the 13th. I’d forgotten it’s a lucky day in France.
    .-= L´s last blog ..Various pictures of life in Toulouse =-.

  • sam

    I think think the French considering it lucky is just AS ridiculous as Americans considering it unlucky. Plus, very few Americans actually believe it’s truly unlucky since they would be seen as extremely weird people who do nothing but watch the Scifi channel. But your suggestion to buy tickets on this day is a good one although my Economics teacher would always remind us that we had a better chance of getting struck by lightning than winning the lottery. Go figure.

  • sam

    I think think the French considering it lucky is just AS ridiculous as Americans considering it unlucky. Plus, very few Americans actually believe it’s truly unlucky since they would be seen as extremely weird people who do nothing but watch the Scifi channel. But your suggestion to buy tickets on this day is a good one although my Economics teacher would always remind us that we had a better chance of getting struck by lightning than winning the lottery. Go figure.

  • http://davidsswamp.blogspot.com/ David

    Well, I really doubt anybody in France considers Friday 13th as a lucky day except for the marketing service of the “Française de Jeux”.

    A few years ago, it was considered bad luck by the few people that are superstitious and most of the population didn’t care.

    Today? Exactly the same, but the FdJ uses it as a pretext to have special events (and there’s more money to be won on those days), so if more French people buy lottery tickt on Friday 13th it’s not that they suddenly became more superstitious but because they’re lured by the bigger than usual jackpots.
    .-= David´s last blog ..Patrolling =-.

  • http://davidsswamp.blogspot.com David

    Well, I really doubt anybody in France considers Friday 13th as a lucky day except for the marketing service of the “Française de Jeux”.

    A few years ago, it was considered bad luck by the few people that are superstitious and most of the population didn’t care.

    Today? Exactly the same, but the FdJ uses it as a pretext to have special events (and there’s more money to be won on those days), so if more French people buy lottery tickt on Friday 13th it’s not that they suddenly became more superstitious but because they’re lured by the bigger than usual jackpots.
    .-= David´s last blog ..Patrolling =-.

  • http://www.soyezlabienvenuechezmoi.blogspot.com/ Dedene

    So, did you win?
    .-= Dedene´s last blog ..We never stopped talking! =-.

  • http://www.soyezlabienvenuechezmoi.blogspot.com Dedene

    So, did you win?
    .-= Dedene´s last blog ..We never stopped talking! =-.

Why is Jennie no longer in France?

I created this blog in September 2006 when I moved to France from Michigan to teach English. Many of the earlier posts are about my personal life in France, dealing with culture shock, traveling in Europe and becoming fluent in French. In July 2011, I relocated to Australia to start my PhD in Applied Linguistics. Although I am no longer living in France, my research is on foreign language pedagogy and I teach French at a university so these themes appear most often on the blog. I also continue to post about traveling and being an American abroad.

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