14:36 21 January 2010
New lottery winners have revealed the secrets to their windfall successes the supernatural.
The Stuart family, who scooped a cool £26 million, believe it was thanks to their dead mother and wife's ghost who was looking over them.
Meanwhile, delighted Susan Herdman won £1 million on the lottery - a few weeks after a fortune teller predicted she was about to come into money.
But what about the rest of the population, how do they boost their chances in life?
Four out of five Brits will use the power of thought and a positive mental attitude to ensure this year is luckier than ever.
According to a new report from Galabingo.com, 84% say avoiding a negative outlook will improve their odds.
It seems the over 50s are the most likely to use positive thinking to influence their luck, with a score over 5% higher than the national average.
And however much we're going to be 'thinking ourselves lucky', it seems we're still a superstitious lot.
Over a fifth (22%) of people hope a charm will work for them and a similar amount rely on lucky numbers (18%).
Commonly cited ways of bringing luck on ourselves seem to have waned in popularity. Only 5% believe a four leaf clover will do anything for them and even less (2%) see the value in a so-called lucky rabbit's foot.
While superstition evidently still plays heavy in our minds, there is room for more practical ways of thinking. Over a third of us (36%) believe hard work will bring us good luck.
Galabingo.com conducted the study to find out what the nation thought after noticing interesting habits from their users once they had enjoyed a win; such as always playing at that same time of the day, sitting in the same place in the club, or using the same coloured dabber.
They've even invented a formula, factoring in aspects like positive thinking, patience and an adventurous spirit, to help improve your luck during the year.
Chartered psychologist, BBC3s, Felix Economakis, says: "With 84% of us already thinking positive this year, we're on to a winning formula.
"Although we're a superstitious lot, there is no real mystery to 'thinking yourself lucky'. A luckier life is achievable for us all. Having a positive mind set will enables us to keep an open mind. Grabbing opportunities as they arise, keeps us looking on the bright side when bad things do happen."
Regardless of numbers, it seems we do still adhere to some old wives' tales. According to the report, four in 10 of us (37%) admit to touching wood to bring ourselves luck, around a third (30%) still believe finding a penny is lucky and a similar amount (28%) feel lucky when they see a shooting star.
Being luckier all year = PMA + (365 X -N) + (52 X R) + (12 X +N)
PMA: develop a positive mental attitude to life.
-N: become less negative to little everyday occurrences (one a day, all year long).
R: take time to reflect on the week and to think about things. Allow 15 minutes each week to stop and let your mind mull over the past few days? You'll find ideas and memories will pop into your head that enable you to take more chances and invite luck your way.
+N: once a month make an effort to try new things and explore new places even if it's just doing the weekly shop in a different supermarket. Accept the next unexpected offer, or even invite neighbours you've never got to know properly in for a drink. You never know what's around that next corner!
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