Why is Friday the 13th considered bad luck? In a new list of looking at past jackpots the opposite may be true for anyone who plays the lottery. All these games were won on this famously unlucky holiday superstition, leaving the question, is it time to admit that Friday the 13th may actually be a lucky day after all?

 Why Is Bad Luck 13th Really Good for Lotteries?

Within Western culture, Friday the 13th is considered a date with a negative outlook, or bad luck more commonly. However, few know what is behind this popular belief or when it started.

Regardless of the month or year, this date is commonly linked to negative events that have marked history, reinforcing old superstitions and encouraging people not to carry out important plans or activities on this day. However it might surprise you to learn that Friday 13th actually might be quite lucky indeed, at least when it comes to lottery games and draws. Take a look at the list of big jackpots won on Friday 13th and the history of Friday 13th games. 


The Games Won on Friday 13th in History

Friday 13th, Mega Millions $202 Million – Nov. 13, 2015

Wednesday 13th Powerball $1.586 Billion – Jan. 13, 2016

Friday 13th, Mega Millions $42 Million – Oct. 13. 2017

Tuesday 13th, Mega Millions $1 Million x3  – Jul. 13 2018

Friday 13th, EuroMillions £96 Million – Aug. 13, 2021

Friday 13th, EuroMillions £60 Million – Jan. 13, 2023

Friday 13th, Mega Millions $1.348 Billion – Jan. 13, 2023



The origin of Friday the 13th 

Although there is no single theory, the origin of Friday the 13th and its association with negativity and bad luck is a combination of religious and cultural beliefs.

According to Catholicism, Friday is unlucky because it was the day of the week that Jesus was crucified. Likewise, at the Last Supper 13 people gathered, the 12 disciples and Jesus.

The legend may have started when the knights of the templar were murdered by the King of England in 1307, although this cannot be confirmed absolutely.

14th and 15th century writers and philosophers such as Geoffrey Chaucer described Friday as a “day of misfortune” in his works, perhaps referencing the murders of the templars and the king’s deception to gain their wealth. 
In more recent times Friday the 13th has become associated with tragic events. These include the bombing of Buckingham palace during WW2, the disappearance of an Air Force plane in 1972 and the death of rapper Tupac in 1996. 

In pop culture, the theme of Friday the 13th came to fruition throughout the 20th century. Thomas Lawson published Friday, the Thirteenth in in 1907, a story about a stockbroker who chose this day to deliberately crash the stock market.

In the 1980s, the popularity of the Friday the 13th film franchise added to the cultural phenomenon around this date and caused it to be associated with the horror genre.


Coincidence or destiny?

This series of unfortunate events that occurred on Friday the 13th but from a different year , are part of why society considers this date as a day of bad luck, however, it is not possible to verify that this is a coincidence or destiny. A large number of people decide not to schedule important activities on this date, such as trips, work negotiations, and even family or friends gatherings. According to the Gregorian calendar Friday 13th has occurred approximately 700 times in history.


When is the next Friday 13th?

Year  Friday 13th Dates
2023 Friday, October 13
2024 Friday, September 13
Friday, December 13
2025 Friday, June 13
2026 Friday, February 13
Friday, March 13
Friday, November 13


Recent Friday 13th Days

In the last 10 years there have been a total of 18 different Friday 13th days with 2015 consisting of the highest number. 

SEPTEMBER 13, 2013

In lottery news, the 624th EuroMillions draw took place on Friday 13th September. The numbers drawn were 4 – 6 – 14 – 27 – 33 – 5 – 10. Nobody won the £23M top prize but two people were able to grab a second prize worth 188K. The Mega Millions draw also rolled over to $119M dollars. On this day in history there were a few significant events associated with bad luck, including a severe flood in Romania and a bomb explosion in Baghdad. A heavy weight lifter named James Bradford died at the age of 84, as an Olympic silver medal receiver in 1952 he was honoured by the committee. The number one song associated with this time of year was Katy Perry’s hit song, Roar that was number one in the charts at the time.

DECEMBER 13, 2013

The EuroMillions jackpot totalled £37M on Friday 13th. No winners were found for the top prize, however. The Mega Millions prize had increased to more than triple what it was in September, marking a $425M drawing that resulted in zero winners. On Friday December 13th Beyonce’s fifth album was released. 2013 was not a leap year. 

JUNE 13, 2014

The day celebrated the 702nd EuroMillions draw, meaning the game has been operating for over ten years in 13 countries. The jackpot on this day totalled £109M. 9 people split the second prize in Mega Millions with the top prize rolling over to $648M making it the 6th biggest Mega Millions prize ever drawn. This day marked the Stanley Cup Final in Los Angeles. 

FEBRUARY 13, 2015

This draw took place on the day before Valentine’s. The EuroMillions jackpot topped out at £24M but ultimately found no winners. The lucky Spanish Valentine’s lottery could also be played on this day and the €105M euro draw was played the following Saturday with the winning number 44247. On Friday 13th February legendary composer John McCabe passed away.

MARCH 13, 2015

EuroMillions rolled over with a £24M jackpot. Mega Millions also rolled over their $33M jackpot. As for world events, during this time, Cyclone Pam was circling the small country on Vanuatu in the South Pacific.

NOVEMBER 13, 2015

Leading towards the end of the year, in November a Mega Millions winner was found to a grand jackpot of over $200M. The entire prize went to a single winner who claimed the prize money a month later via trust. The EuroMillions draw topped £92M but did not garner any winners on Friday 13th. On this day the now infamous Paris attacks occurred in bars, restaurants and at the football stadium and music venue. 

MAY 13, 2016

Although this day didn’t garner a lot of attention, it did contain a large Mega Millions draw, worth $161M dollars. There was no ultimate winner and the jackpot rolled over to a higher amount the following Tuesday. The numbers used were 20 – 21 – 38 – 54 and 66. There was a single winner that matched five numbers and won one million dollars. 

JANUARY 13, 2017

The EuroMillions jackpot rolled over to a new jackpot worth £53M after no winners were found in January. The Mega Millions jackpot total had no grand prize winners but the $137 million jackpot grew to $150 million for the next Tuesday draw.

OCTOBER 13, 2017

Luck struck gold on 13th October 2017 when two winners were found in the October draw. This being the month of Halloween meant that the luck was even more against these winners but that didn’t stop them from splitting the top prize worth $42M. EuroMillions didn’t come out with any big prize winners on this day, meaning the jackpot increased to €31M. On this day allegations about Harvey Weinstein first arose. 


APRIL 13, 2018

After two jackpot wins in a row the lucky third did not appear for EuroMillions as the €17M jackpot minimum rolled over to the next draw. It would be 4 more days until the jackpot was finally won by a single ticker holder in the UK. The jackpot total was €138M after a SuperDraw was cast the draw before. No Mega Millions top prizes were awarded. Award winning director famous for movies such as Amadeus and One Flew Over The Cuckoos Nest passes away at age 86. 


JULY 13, 2018

In honour of this day, EuroMillions released 13 raffle codes for UK winners to play, meaning 13 people received a guaranteed £1M prize with the code. There was a Spanish winner that nabbed the €17M jackpot prize this time around meaning 14 lucky winners around Europe. The Mega Millions jackpot topped $340M for the Friday 13th jackpot that did not claim any winners. A Massachusetts man who has been playing the same numbers for 26 years won with his nine identical lottery tickets. Mega company Johnson & Johnson were forced to pay $4.7 billion in damages by a Missouri court on this day. 

SEPTEMBER 13, 2019

No winners were found on the Mega Millions Friday 13th jackpot. The $172M prize rolled over to the following week. EuroMillions likewise was unable to produce any winners. This was the day that the famous college scandal came to a head with actress Felicity Huffman sentenced after her trial. 

DECEMBER 13, 2019

On a world wide scale, not much occurred on this day. There were no winner in the Mega Millions drawing of $340M dollars. The EuroMillions draw rolled over the jackpot total of £32M to be won in the following Tuesday draw. 

MARCH 13, 2020

The lottery rolled on in 2020, the March 13th draw had a top prize of £50M but no winner was found during this draw. Just like in the previous draw, the jackpot ended up going to the following Tuesday. There was no lucky winner in the Mega Millions draw but a player in Washington state was able to get a 1 million prize. Worldwide football leagues were suspended in the light of everything shutting down to the public. Bill Gates stepped down as the head of Microsoft and the US declared a national emergency freeing up funds worth $50 billion dollars.

NOVEMBER 13, 2020

No winners were found in the Mega Millions draw worth $165M. EuroMillions was also unlucky with its £60M jackpot total reaching zero winners. The Yorkshire Ripper dies in prison at the age of 74. Kylie Minogue became the first woman to top the UK charts for 5 decades with the album “Disco.”

AUGUST 13, 2021

EuroMillions celebrated Friday 13th with 13 Millionaire codes for fans to win a guaranteed £1M pound prize. One lucky ticket matched all 5 main and bonus numbers to win a jackpot total of £96M. The numbers were 6 – 12 – 44 – 47 – 49 – 8 – 12. Mega Millions did not reach any winners, meaning the jackpot rolled over to the next draw on Tuesday. American singer Nanci Griffin passes away at the age of 68. 

MAY 13, 2022

EuroMillions received no new winners on Friday 13th 2022, although 5 tickets matched 6 out of the 7 numbers required. Mega Millions produced no big winners but a lucky person in Texas matched the 5 main numbers for a $1M prize. No major world news occurred on this day. 

JANUARY 13, 2023

The most recent Friday 13th gave the biggest lottery jackpot ever seen on this day. The Mega Millions draw worth $1.35 billion went to a single ticket winner in Maine when they matched all numbers. EuroMillions also produced a big winner worth £60M to a single ticket. Overall this is the lucky Friday 13th in history when it comes to lottery games. In another record breaker Australia announces the hottest temperature ever recorded of 50.7C (123.26F) in Onslow, Western Australia. 


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