Podcast

Episode 97 • Luck

97

Be down on luck

Lucky charm

Jinx

Third time's the charm

Tough luck

Story

Daniel: Have you got the ticket?
Louis: Yes, yes, calm down. It’s here.
Daniel: Calm down? Are you kidding me? I’ve been studying for months.
Louis: Studying what?! It’s the lottery! It‘s all down to luck!
Daniel: No, it isn’t! I’ve read lots of books, I’ve even taken a statistics course and I know I’ve got the winning numbers.
Louis: Okay, then why do you have that ring on? I know that’s your lucky charm
Daniel: Shut up. I always wear it.
Louis: No, you don’t.
Daniel: I told you! I don’t need luck! I know what I’m doing.
Louis: Okay, okay. Whatever you say. So, what are you going to do with the money that you win?
Daniel: Stop asking me that, you’re going to jinx it!
Louis: Oh, yeah. So, if you don’t win, it’s my fault? Dude, this is the third time you’ve bought a lottery ticket. You didn’t win the first two times.
Daniel: Well, you know what they say… Third time’s the charm!
Louis: Did you read that in your statistics book?
Daniel: Stop making fun of me! You’ll see! Turn it up…
TV: Here are the winning numbers…59
Daniel: Yes!
TV: 3
Daniel: Yes!
TV: 15
Daniel: Yes!
TV: 18
Daniel: Yes!
TV: 72
Daniel: N-no… No, no, no, no!
Louis: Ugh, tough luck, man. Next time…
TV: Hold on. Sorry. There seems to have been a mistake. It’s 62. I repeat! 62!
Daniel: I Won! Louis, I won!

Questions

All right. I guess he was right. He won, good for him.

Be down to luck

'Studying what?! It’s the lottery! It’s all down to luck!'

• If the outcome of a situation is down to luck, do you have any control over it?

No. If the outcome of a situation is down to luck, that means that you have no control over it because it's only a matter of luck. It only depends on how lucky you are.

• Which things in life are down to luck and which ones aren’t?

I personally think that there's a pretty good deal of things that you have control over things like-- I don't know the job that you choose or the relationships that we're in. These are things that we do have some type of control over. There are also some other things that are just down to luck. Things like the country where you're born, or the family that you have, those are things that are down to luck. It's not things that you have any control over. You can't choose those things. I think, I don't know, maybe half and half?

Lucky charm

'Okay, then why do you have that ring on? I know that’s your lucky charm...'

• What’s the purpose of a lucky charm?

The purpose of a lucky charm is to bring you good luck. It's an object, it can be really any object that you think that you believe brings you good luck.

• What objects can be lucky charms?

Really anything. I think they tend to be pretty small because usually, you want to carry them with you whenever you need them. Let's say, you want to take a test, you got an important job interview. You're going to take your lucky charm, bring it with you because you think it's going to help you pass the exam or get the job, whatever. You can't bring a lamp with you, which is just because it's your lucky charm. I don't think that would be acceptable, but Hey, if you have a lamp as your lucky charm, just do you, I don't have anything against that.

• Do you have any lucky charms?

I personally don't have any lucky charms. I tried back in the day because my sister had it. She actually had a photo of me as her lucky charm and I wanted to do something similar and I tried different things. I think I tried pens or bookmarks or even photos, but the problem, I think with lucky charms is that they mess with your head because first of all, I don't really believe that a lucky charm can bring you good luck. Sometimes we convince ourselves that they do. Let's say that you forget them at home or you lose them. Then you might not end up succeeding at what you want to succeed because you keep on thinking, Oh, I'm never going to get this because I forgot my lucky charm or because I lost my lucky charm. I think, you know what? I think it's better to just rely on ourselves and not really believe that it's just an object that can help decide our fate.

Jinx

'Stop asking me that, you’re going to jinx it!'

• Does jinxing involve bringing good luck or bad luck?

Jinxing involves bringing bad luck.

• What do people believe you need to avoid doing in order not to jinx things?

I think one of the most common things if you don't want to jinx something is to not talk about it, unless you are sure it's going to happen. I'll give you an example. Let's say I just had a job interview and I'm pretty sure I got the job, but they haven't confirmed it to me yet. Some people believe that if I start talking about it as if I got the job saying things like, oh, I know I'm getting get the job or maybe start spending the money that you don't have yet because you haven't actually gotten the job yet. Some people believe that by doing that, you are jinxing it. You're bringing bad luck to that situation and so in the end, you're not going to get the job. At least that's what people do. That's what people say.

• Do you ever avoid saying something because you‘re afraid you’re going to jinx it?

Yes, totally. I know it's totally irrational. It doesn't make any sense, but yes, if I'm not sure that something's going to happen, I avoid talking about it because I'm afraid that just by talking about it, it's going to jinx it and I'm not going to get whatever it is that I want.

Third time’s the charm

'Well, you know what they say… Third time’s the charm!'

• When is the saying ‘Third time’s the charm’ used? When you have failed to do something once before or twice before?

You say "third time's the charm" when you tried to do something two times before that, and you have failed.

• According to the saying ‘Third time’s the charm’, will you be successful the third time?

Yes, that is exactly what third time's the charm means. It means that if you fail twice in a row then the third time that you try doing that's something, again, you will be successful. The third time is the lucky one so to say. Third time's the charm.

• Do you believe that the third time’s the charm?

It depends. Sure, I understand that for things that you have some control over it could be, for example, if I want to pass an exam, I might study, take it, fail once, study again, take it and fail twice. By the third time, I will probably know the test pretty well. I will have studied a lot harder and so, yes, maybe I'm more likely to pass it the third time, but for things like the lottery, I don't think if you buy a third ticket after losing twice, then you've got more chances of winning, but people like to think that third time's the charm. I actually like it because I think that it makes you feel a little more hopeful. If you failed at something twice, you're probably feeling a little discouraged, a little sad and you're probably thinking, this is never going to work. I'm never going to succeed, but if you think that the third time's the charm, then maybe you've got a little bit of hope in you that will push you to do a bit better. To be honest with you. I just think it's something that people say to make people that have failed feel better.

Tough luck

'Ugh, tough luck, man. Next time…'

• If you tell someone ‘tough luck’, do you say that to them because they had luck or not?

You say tough luck to someone who hasn't been lucky in whatever situation they were in.

• If you tell someone ‘tough luck’, do you say it because you feel sorry for them?

No. the expressions tough luck is usually used in more of a sarcastic way. Really, when I'm using it, I'm trying to-- Let's say a lot of times, not all the time, but a lot of times I'm almost making fun of you. If we're both competing for the same thing and I win and you don't, I can tell you "Tough luck". But I'm saying it maybe with a smile on my face because I'm trying to make fun of you a little bit. It's not the nicest thing to say, but especially among friends, if you're playing a game, you can definitely use that expression.

• Has something ever happened that made you say to someone ‘tough luck’?

Yes. I think it was probably when I was playing with my boyfriend. This one time we were playing cards and then another time we were playing like the stupid video game on his phone and the first couple of games that we played, I won and so I sarcastically said, well, tough luck. Don't worry, it's going to be better next time. Then he ended up beating me at like all the other games that we played. I was just being super cool at the beginning be like, Hey, tough luck. You'll do better next time, Kiddo, and then he was the one that was winning.

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