Friggatriskaidekaphobia may have some readers staying inside today and avoiding any big or important decisions.
Frigga what? The word describes those who are afraid of the date Friday the 13th, which occurs three times this year including today.
Garrett McMullen of the Trail Smoke Eaters would rather skip the day all together, as superstitious as it may be.
While avoiding so-called bad luck can be impossible – whether it’s breaking a mirror and receiving seven years bad luck or 24 hours for a black cat passing by – many individuals, especially athletes, do anything they can to bring on the good vibes.
Another Smoke Eater, Marley Keca, will actually leave the change room to do 20 pushups and sit-ups in the hallway prior to a game warm up, just to keep luck on his side.
“In the old days when I played that was quite the norm,” recalled Smokies president Tom Gawryletz of a hockey player’s superstitions.
“You didn’t see too many guys wearing the jersey No. 13, probably even fewer than you did nowadays.”
But the number never spooked Gawryletz, who sported the digit when he played junior hockey and a few years of senior hockey in the 70s, prior to the number vanishing from the roster when new jerseys were purchased.
“It didn’t bother me at all,” he said. “Believe it or not, I still buy lotto tickets on the 13th. I’ve always been one of those believers, I guess, that if everybody else is afraid to that I might as well do it and I may just get lucky.”
Trail Ticket Centre manager Linda Grandbos concurs. She said her customers are not avoiding the Lotto Max $21 million today and instead some are calling it a lucky round.
A few of her regulars have a birthday today and suggest it will be their “birthday win.”
“I’ve seen people who always play the same numbers because they’re afraid if they don’t play them, they will come up,” she smiled. “Now that’s a superstition in a way – twenty five years of playing the same numbers and you forget one week, and that’s the week they’ll come up.”
A Trail resident won $100,000 on a $100 Million Jumbo scratch ticket this past Saturday, she said, and last year a lucky player took home $113,000 on Lotto 649.
“I get excited when people win, whether it’s $2, $200 or $100,000,” she said. “But I jump and down more when it’s $100,000.”
Grandbos doesn’t think people will be discouraged from trying their luck today but will have to wait and see whether Greater Trail residents have a bad case of Friggatriskaidekaphobia.
There are many theories as to where this phobia comes from, one pointing to the amalgamation of an already unlucky 13 – an irregular number that follows the “complete” 12, as it is reflected in the twelve months of the year and so on – with “Black Friday.”
Friday has had a bad reputation since the 1800s and has been associated with stock market crashes and other disasters.