Almost half of Britons follow bizarre rituals thinking they would bring them good luck, a study has found.
Millions of people in the UK are so superstitious that they touch wood and avoid walking under ladders, revealed the survey carried out by National Lottery.
And in a bid to ward off bad luck, they follow weird rituals, including wearing lucky socks or pants, avoiding walking across three drains, and saying "white rabbits" on the first day of each month.
A similar number always make a wish when blowing out -birthday candles while a third throw spilled salt over their left shoulder and nearly as many would always put money in a purse or wallet before giving it as a gift.
The study of 3,000 people also found 38 per cent regularly cross their fingers, while a fifth refuse to pass others on the stairs and one in 10 won't walk on cracks in the pavement.
In fact, three quarters of those polled said they knew these superstitions were unlikely to work, but did them anyway "just in case".
"People shouldn't be too hasty to dismiss their superstitions," The Daily Express quoted a spokesman for the National Lottery as saying.
"In a poll of lottery millionaires over a third admitted receiving a sign of their impending win, and one in 10 admitted having a lucky charm. Whenever we encounter life events where the outcome is uncertain, we are inclined to -rituals to recreate the circumstances that we think were responsible for previous successes. Rituals also provide comfort in difficult times, making them less stressful." said Professor Bruce Hood, author of SuperSense: Why We Believe In The Unbelievable.