Does it Mean that You’ll Win a Lottery when Your Left Hand Itches?

So your left hand is itching? Did someone tell you that you can win a lottery if your left-hand itches? What's the belief behind an itchy palm?

left hand itching

When it comes to money, there’re countless superstitions and beliefs around the world. There are some such superstitions and beliefs that’re common in USA too. One of them is, does it mean that you’ll win a lottery, when your left hand itches?

In this article, I will discuss this widespread superstition in USA about the relation between the left-hand itching and winning a lottery as well as other common ones that prevail. These superstitions have various causes and origins.

To help you understand better, I will start my article by defining in simplest terms, what is exactly a superstition.

Understanding a Superstition

In simplest terms, a superstition is an age-old belief that comes from various sources. Some people may have had a good or bad experience due to a purely natural phenomenon.

However, they attribute the good fortune or misfortune directly to this natural occurrence. For example, some person may have had a bad experience because a black cat crossed their path while going somewhere.

In reality, the cat was only going somewhere and had nothing to do with the misfortune. However, the person believes that his evil luck was caused by the cat, because it crossed their path.

Some superstitions come from age old beliefs and traditions or even religious teachings that’re wrongly interpreted. One such a belief is about comets. Ancient Chinese believed that comets in the sky were harbingers of evil and hence, would burst firecrackers at night to scare it away.

In France though, the appearance of comets has been attributed to bumper harvests of Champagne grapes in the region which makes the internationally acclaimed and eponymous sparkling wine.

In India, people don’t generally sleep or lied down with their bodies facing the north-south direction. That’s because Hindu religion stipulates that only dead bodies be placed in that position, especially during cremations. Similarly, lots of followers of Christianity shun meat during the period of Lent, though the Holy Bible has no such teaching.

Relation Between Itchy Left Hand & Winning a Lottery

Now, is there actually a real-life story about an American woman winning $64 million Mega Millions lottery in 2010. The woman named Mary Shammas, told the media that she decided to buy the lottery ticket after her left palm was itching. She got off the bus and selected numbers based on birthdates of her relatives.

Since Mary’s story was widely reported by the American press, the myth that left hand itching signifies a win in the lottery became famous.

However, it’s worth knowing that there’re are no similar cases of people winning a lottery because their left hand was itching, before or after Mary’s good fortune. Therefore, we can safely conclude that Mary’s win is a one-off case, when he left hand itched and she bought a winning lottery ticket.

Also Read: What to do if you win a lottery

The Myth of Left-Hand Itching & Money Gains

Actually, there’s a fable in India where some people believe that itching of your palms or hands actually signifies something about money. Here, I’ll describe these to you in detail.

In Indian culture, it is widely believed that if the left hand of a woman itches for any unknown reasons, she would witness a financial windfall. But if her right hand itches, it means she would lose money.

This belief is opposite for males in India. They believe that itching of the left hand for a male signifies financial losses. However, if the right-hand itches, the man can look forward to some unexpected financial gains.

These beliefs come from the images of Hindu deity, Sri. Lakshmi, who is also known as the goddess of wealth. Most images of Lakshmi depict her blessing devotees with a shower of gold coins from her left hand. Under the right elbow, Lakshmi holds a pot of gold from which guineas spill out.

The belief is not merely limited to India. As a matter of fact, most countries in the Indian subcontinent including Pakistan, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Myanmar and Bhutan also have similar beliefs and traditions.

These possibly arise from the fact that Hinduism was once a predominant religion in these areas before other faiths arrived on the shores of these countries.

Also Read: 75 proven ways to make money fast

Itching Hand & Touching Wood

Interestingly, there’s also another superstition over itchy hands. That is, if you have a itchy palm, you should touch wood. Usually, males whose left palm or hand itches and women whose right palm or hand has an itch, is supposed to touch wood.

There’s no benefit of touching wood, regardless of whether you embrace an entire tree or tap the nearest piece of wooden furniture. Since ancient days, wood of all kinds has been attributed as having many medicinal properties. 

Actually, by touching wood, the person is getting an opportunity to rub the itchy palm or hand on some safe surface for relief. This has nothing to do with medicinal properties of wood or any superstitious beliefs.

Reasons You Have Itchy Hands

Now that you’re aware about that itchy left palm or hand doesn’t really signify that you’ll win a lottery or get some money suddenly, let’s see what causes the phenomenon. To begin with, I find that itchy palms and hands are common among people of all ages and across the globe.

Here’re some reasons for an itchy palm of hand, according to medical sources such as Healthline.

  • Vitamin B-complex deficiency
  • Eczema
  • Dry Skin
  • Allergy
  • Skin Damage
  • Psoriasis
  • Heavy alcohol consumption
  • Poor hand hygiene
  • Diabetes
  • Handling certain kinds of plants

Actually, there’re countless reasons why palms or hands get itchy. And winning a lottery or getting a financial windfall is definitely not among them. If left hand itching actually signified winning a lottery, almost the entire population of the world would be millionaires by now.

Therefore, the next time you have itchy hands- either the left or the right- find the real reasons. And if necessary, take medical treatment for the condition. Of course, you can buy a lottery ticket if you wish and might win if you’re very lucky.

More Money Myths from Around the World

Since we’re now aware that left hand itching or for that matter, any hand itching, doesn’t mean that you’ll win a lottery, let’s look at some other money myths from around the world.

Refer: 25 Ways to Become Rich

Buddha’s Money

Buddha’s money is one of the most famous myths that some people in countries such as Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam and Myanmar believe to be true. They take a coin, smear it with sandalwood and water.

This coin is then placed at the feet of a Buddha idol and left for a day. The coin is taken away the next day and placed in the purse. It is believed that this coin can help usher in a lot of wealth from unexpected sources. Some people also believe that such a coin can help them get a raise in their salaries or find money lying on streets.

Placing Your Purse/Wallet on the Floor

According to a myth from China, placing your purse or wallet on the floor is like disrespecting what it contains. That includes your money too. When you place your purse or wallet on the floor, the money gods are said to get angry and leave you quickly.

Therefore, if you’re traveling to China, make sure that you don’t place your purse on the floor while at the hotel or even if you rent an apartment. The Chinese, it seems, also view a purse or wallet left on the floor as a sign of bad luck. At best, they may caution you against leaving your purse or wallet on the floor.

Money from Funeral Processions

Money from funeral processions is a myth that also originates in India and is cherished by some Hindu communities. According to traditions of certain communities, coins are tossed across a dead body while it’s being taken for burial or cremation.

Collecting these coins and placing them in your wallet or purse is supposed to open doors to the wealth in heavens for you. Obviously, it would seem very petty or even childish or morbid to chase a funeral procession to collect such coins.

But believe me, there’re people who avidly do that in the hope of getting quick money through divine favours by following this superstition.

Money Attracts Money

People around the world believe that money attracts money. Hence, they place one or more coins in their pockets, wallets or purses and never remove them. These people believe in the superstition that such coins will help attract wealth magically.

As a result, most of these people never gift an empty wallet to anyone. Instead, they will open the wallet, place some money and especially coins, before gifting it to someone. The idea of gifting a small amount of money isn’t bad, though.

In Conclusion

Before concluding, I’ll add that belief in any superstition or myth is a personal matter. Only you can decide whether or not to follow one. Left hand itching has no real connection with winning a lottery, similar to other money myths in USA and elsewhere in the world.

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I'm very passionate on writing about personal finance, economy, helping people save money and making you better. I've worked closely with The Peninsula, Qatar Tribune, Pattaya People, Al Jazeera and other major news networks around the world. Member of Amnesty International, Reporters Without Borders & other organizations.