Richard Wiseman

The differences between the lives of the lucky and unlucky people are as consistent as they are remarkable. Lucky people always seem to be in the right place at the right time, fall on their feet, and appear to have an uncanny ability to live a charmed life. Unlucky people are the exact opposite. Their lives tend to be a catalogue of failure and despair, and they are convinced that their misfortune is not of their own making. One of the unluckiest people in the study is Susan, a 34-year-old care assistant from Blackpool. Susan is exceptionally unlucky in love. She once arranged to meet a man on a blind date, but her potential beau had a motorcycle accident on the way to their meeting, and broke both of his legs. Her next date walked into a glass door and broke his nose. A few years later, when she had found someone to marry, the church in which she intended to hold the wedding was burnt down by arsonists just before her big day. Susan has also experienced an amazing catalogue of accidents. In one especially bad run of luck, she reported having eight car accidents in a single fifty-mile journey.

Richard Wiseman, Quirkology: the Curious Science of Everyday Lives, London, 2007, pp. 26-27