The Luck of the Cantabrians

March 17, 2021

Categories: Skepticism , Tags: Luck, Superstition

Rebecca Booth, from Fairlie in the South Island, recently found a seven leaf clover (opens new window). The Stuff article about this find mentioned that this is not the first clover-related find Rebecca has had. Apparently earlier this year, in January, she found both four and five leaf clovers.

A quick google search for Rebecca took me to the competition results for the 2019 Mackenzie A&P show, where among other accolades in the Home Produce section Rebecca won second place in the “Collection of Weeds” contest and first place in the “Bunch of Herbs, in a vase no more than 8 varieties” contest. This leads me to believe that Rebecca is somewhat in tune with the local greenery, something backed up by a quote in the Stuff article where she says “All my life, I’ve been pretty lucky finding multi-leaf clovers”.

It’s great that Rebecca has such luck finding these rare clovers - a four leaf clover occurs about once in every 5,000 plants (opens new window). However, I’m guessing that her daily focus on clover and other plants means that she’s more likely than most to find these rarities.

I also wish Rebecca the best with her recent Lotto ticket purchase, which she hopes will be a winner because of her clover find, but I can’t help but be skeptical about the idea that one lucky event is going to make it more likely for another lucky event to occur. After all, we know that luck is just random chance - although when it comes to topics like gambling, there are degrees of freedom that can make lucky streaks appear to be real (opens new window).