Very superstitious: Half of Brits have a lucky number while 1 in 5 believe breaking a mirror brings bad luck

  • 49% of Britons have a lucky number while 28% have an unlucky number
  • One in five people believe breaking a mirror is the unluckiest superstition while touching wood is considered to bring luck
  • 52% of people think their superstitions stem from their parents

New research has found that us Brits are very superstitious, with almost one in five (18%) believing that breaking a mirror brings bad luck and one in six (16%) thinking twice about walking under a ladder.

When it comes to good luck charms, money-saving website Voucherbox has found that touching wood is a good omen with over a fifth of Brits (21%) carrying out this practice – almost double than those who think crossing your fingers brings luck (13%).

Whilst almost half of the population (49%) have a lucky number, only 28% have an unlucky number. The number 13 is deemed unlucky for the majority (38%), although almost one in 10 (9%) believe it brings good luck. The most popular lucky number is seven for 22% of Brits.

Less than 14% don’t have a good or bad luck ritual at all. Yet despite these findings, two thirds of Brits (66%) don’t consider themselves to be superstitious. In fact, the only part of the UK where the majority of people (57%) believe they are superstitious is Devon.

In the spirit of Valentine’s day almost one in 10 Brits (9%) deemed meeting the love of the lives as the reason for believing in the good fortune of their superstitions. More than one in 5 (21%) came into money as a result, while only 5% believe superstitions were responsible for losing money. 20% said they had an accident because of superstitions.

Other superstitions include opening an umbrella indoors (13%), a four leaf-clover (12%), blowing out birthday candles (7%) and a black cat (7%).

Interestingly 8% of the population think multiple magpies bring good luck, whilst only 6% think a lone magpie brings bad luck.

Marco Piu, Voucherbox General Manager says, “Superstitions are so ingrained in British culture that even those who don’t consider themselves to be superstitious will be at least aware of the required ritual in a given situation. The survey revealed that over half of superstitions (52%) come from our parents, and the tales and legends are likely to continue to be passed down.

There’s an array of voucher codes to help put you and your family at ease, and bring you money savings at the same (no luck required). Right now there’s great discounts at Robert Dyas – the pioneers of ladders, mirrors, even cat repellent.”

ENDS

39% of Brits book holidays at work costing businesses almost £250 million in January

  • 5th January is the popular date to book a holiday
  • Half of UK choose to holiday on the continent
  • A quarter choose to escape within the UK

39% of people in the UK research and book holidays while at work spending an average of three and half hours doing so, costing British businesses almost £250 million1 in January alone. When it comes to planning an escape from the rat race, the 5th of the month is the most popular date for holiday bookings.

The findings from money saving website Voucherbox.co.uk also reveal that glum faces aren’t the only thing UK businesses must suffer this January, as 39% admitted to using work time to carry out their holiday research another fifth (18%) are considering the idea.

Not letting work deter them from shaking those gloomy blues, one in six employees will go so far as to book their holiday whilst at work – one in three doing so before 11am.

With nearly three quarters of the population sticking to Europe for some fun in the sun (21%). It will come as no surprise to learn almost a third of Brits are searching for some vitamin D on a beach holiday, the most popular destination being Spain. Other hit list destinations include France (10%), Greece (6%) and Portugal (5%).

Shane Forster, UK Country Manager at Voucherbox, stated: “January can hit us all quite hard, and seemingly in the pocket for employers. The research may come as a surprise to some, especially considering the majority of holidays bookings are done and dusted. On the plus side, that should have bought a few more smiles.”

If you could do with some holiday cheer, check out these great deals from Thomson.

-ENDS-

Notes to editors
1Based on ONS data on the number of working Brits (31,760,000), the average salary (£28,000) and average hours worked in the UK (1,645 per year).

Sources
www.ons.gov.uk/employmentandlabourmarket/peopleinwork/employmentandemployeety
www.incometaxcalculator.org.uk/average-salary-uk.php
www.calculconversion.com/work-hour-calculator.html

Christmas Day: Belfast wakes up first while Glaswegians stir last last and spend 80% more than the national average on gifts

  • Belfast children start celebrating at 4am while children in Leeds and Glasgow lie in until past 9am
  • Average wake up time for UK on Christmas day is 6.08am
  • Glasgow and Middlesbrough spend a whopping £400 on gifts per child – more than five times the national average of £75 per child
  • Just 5% of UK kids say they look forward to giving gifts

On Christmas Day people in Belfast will be celebrating first with the average get-up time for children aged 3-12 being an exhausting 4am. Welsh children will stir at 6.53am allowing time for plenty of sleep whilst still maximising the big day and in Glasgow, Bradford and Leeds children don’t rise until gone 9am – nearly three hours later than the average get up time for the UK which is 6.08am.

What time do you get up Christmas GIF

When it comes to Christmas spending, money saving website Voucherbox.co.uk has found that the average UK household spends £75 per child while families in Glasgow and Middlesbrough are the most generous with an average spend per head of more than £400, over 80% more than the national average.

It was no surprise to find that most UK children are more excited about opening presents on Christmas Day than giving them with only 5% percent looking forward to gifting others.

More than half of children’s toys to sit under the tree this year have a place on the Toy Retailers Association top 12 toys for Christmas 2016 list, and nearly 10% are set to open a LEGO Friends Amusement Park Roller Coaster, which stands as the present most in demand.

Shane Forster, UK Country Manager comments: “Christmas is an expensive time of year for parents, not to mention a tiring one if you live in Belfast! More than a quarter of parents have spent more this year on Christmas presents for their kids in comparison to previous years. The most coveted toys of the year can be quite costly, but there are of course still deals to be had online.”

Toying with what to buy? Check out the latest deals at Argos.

Ballsing it up: Politicians are statistically the worst performers on Strictly Come Dancing

Is Ed Balls about to make history?

  • Politicians are the worst performing contestants with an average score of just 17 points per dance
  • Former MPs average a dismal 10th place in the competition
  • At 23 points per dance, Balls is exceeding expectations
  • Singers and musicians perform best on the show historically
  • Despite Alisha Dixon winning a seat on the judging panel, Natalie Gumede has the highest average judges’ score in history

It may take two to tango, but traditionally it’s best if one of them isn’t a politician as data reveals that during the 12-year history of Strictly Come Dancing, former MPs perform the worst out of any group of contestants. However, that could all be set to change, with Ed Balls becoming a firm favourite as the people’s champion. Despite being amongst the worst performing, he is comfortably exceeding the average score of politicians who historically achieve just 17 points.

Ann Widdecombe and Edwina Currie could only average tenth position but Ed Balls is sticking two fingers up to the history books with his 23-point average and guaranteed finish of at least sixth position. The former Shadow Chancellor – who’s Gangnam Style performance was a highlight for many and scored 25 points – is sailing through each week and following recent election and referendum results, politicians should learn to expect the unexpected.

The findings from money-saving website Voucherbox.co.uk also reveal that singers and musicians perform best on the show, achieving an average of a sixth-place finish, a judges’ score of 30 and three overall victories. TV presenters, sportsmen and soap stars have also fared well, each with three victories since 2004. Comedians, radio presenters and film stars are amongst the careers to have never claimed the Glitterball.

Following her victory in 2007, where she picked-up an average of 36 points per dance, Alesha Dixon became the most successful singer or musician in the show’s history and even went on to earn herself a spot on the judging panel two years later. However, perhaps surprisingly, the data shows that Dixon is not the greatest contestant of all time. The accolade goes to Coronation Street actress Natalie Gumede, whose 37-point average sees her claim top spot on the all-time leader board, despite losing out to model Abbey Clancy in the final of the 2013 series.

At the other end of the spectrum is TV presenter Quentin Wilson. In 2005, he finished in last position with a miserable average score of just eight points per dance. Joining Wilson at the bottom of the pile are garden designer Diarmuid Gavin and Nicholas Owen of BBC News, both with an average score of 14. Although he can claim second worst score in Strictly history, Gavin managed to achieve a respectable seventh position back in 2004.

The success of soap stars has largely been aided by Hollyoaks, the highest achieving soap, with an average score of 34 points per dance. By contrast, there’s trauma for hospital drama stars, whose 27-point average spells casualty on the dance floor. When compared with actors and actresses elsewhere, soap stars finish two places higher than their acting counterparts. Eastenders has provided almost half (45%) of soap contestants ever to take part in the competition.

On the sporting side, the contest between football and rugby stars is fierce. Rugby players average a finishing position of two places higher than footballers and they also average three more points per dance.

Shane Forster, Voucherbox UK Country Manager said, “It is very intriguing to see that there are clear patterns in this research in terms of who is likely to be successful in this and future series. History would suggest former pop star Louise Redknapp is favourite, but with Ed Balls defying the odds each week, it could be considered anyone’s game. I would not like to cha-cha-choose this year’s winner!”

Quickstep on over to ASOS right now and get 20% off all the sequins you could want.

A deal’s a Deal: Historic Seaside town changes name in unique sponsorship agreement

  • Kent town of Deal changes its name to Voucherbox: Home of Deal
  • Local Chamber of Trade strikes sponsorship deal with Voucherbox
  • Agreement also includes official ‘twinning’ of the town with the voucher site in undisclosed deal

Welcome to Voucherbox: Home of Deal sign

The historic seaside town of Deal, population 30,000, has found a novel way of helping its local businesses compete with multinational retailers by playing on its distinctive name and striking a sponsorship agreement with leading online money saving website Voucherbox.

Under the terms of the agreement the town, that has roots to the Doomsday book and is often cited as Julius Ceaser’s first landing place in Britain, will be renamed to Voucherbox: Home of Deal for the day and will see the online retailer become official sponsor of its Christmas lights turn-on which takes place in the town tonight (Friday).

Voucherbox railway station sign

The agreement also sees the voucher site officially twinning with Deal as well as providing 90 local business with Christmas trees in the run up to the festive season. The partnership is timed to help give local trading a boost around the Black Friday retail period – which takes place next Friday – and ahead of the Christmas shopping season.

The twinning agreement, struck by the Deal & Walmer Chamber of Trade with Voucherbox, will see retailers displayed in a virtual high street online, enabling firms like 44-year old Castles Storage to take advantage of Voucherbox’s huge reach and give 180,000 active users access to some of Deal’s best offers.

The twinning follows other examples of towns and cities partnering with fictional areas, including Disney World who teamed up with Swindon in 2009 and Wincanton in Somerset being paired with Ankh-Morpork, a fictional city named in a Terry Pratchett book.

David Cronk, Mayor of Voucherbox: Home of Deal, Peter Varrall, President of the Chamber of Trade and Shane Forster, Voucherbox UK Country Manager
David Cronk, Mayor of Voucherbox: Home of Deal, Peter Varrall, President of Deal Chamber of Trade and Shane Forster, Voucherbox UK Country Manager

Peter Varrall, President of the Chamber of Trade said, “Our town is over 900 years old but we are never afraid to innovate and this is a fantastic opportunity for Deal to put itself on the map nationally and internationally.

Many of our retailers have seen difficult trading conditions in recent years and Voucherbox bring with them a wealth of online retailing experience and expertise that we hope to benefit from.”

David Cronk, Mayor of Voucherbox: Home of Deal, formerly known as Deal, said, “I would like to thank the Deal Chamber of Trade and Voucherbox for working together to promote Deal.”

Shane Forster, Voucherbox UK Country Manager, said: “We’ve always thought that we are the best place around to get the best deal, so there’s no better place for us to partner with on this project than a town with the same name!”

“Although we are an online voucher site, we believe that the traditional British high street plays an important part in our shopping experience and we want to celebrate and encourage that by bringing the Deal high street online in time for the Black Friday and Christmas periods, hoping to give local businesses a boost.”

“We believe this unique partnership works for all sides and hope it becomes a regular event.”

When Deal became Voucherbox. Watch the action unfold…

Don’t forget to stay up to date with our latest offers! Check out the latest deals at Argos.

Two jobs, two seasons and 91 games – The average ‘lifespan’ of a Premier League Manager revealed

  • 209 different managers have taken to the dugout since 1992
  • The typical boss takes charge for 1165 days and has a 30% win ratio
  • The ‘average’ Premier League boss is…Stuart Pearce!

The average Premier League manager will coach in the top flight for less than two and a half years, coaching two different sides and winning only a third of his games, minus a trophy, according to a study of all 209 coaches since the league was formed in 1992.

The research, compiled by money-saving site Voucherbox.co.uk, looked at every manager’s statistics across the last 24 seasons and revealed:

  • The average manager has two jobs, across 1165 days and will take the helm for 91 games. They will oversee 33 wins, 25 draws and 33 losses – giving them a 30% win rate. On average, they won’t win a trophy.
  • The most ‘average’ Premier League manager is former Man City and Nottingham Forest boss Stuart Pearce, who registered 32 wins and 26 draws at a win percentage of 30.77%
  • Harry Redknapp has had the most Premier League jobs (six), followed by Sam Allardyce and Mark Hughes who are on five each
  • Sir Alex Ferguson managed the most games (810), followed by Arsene Wenger (763) and Redknapp (641)
  • Redknapp has presided over the most losses at 238, with Allardyce just behind on 181
  • Nearly 60% of all managers only get one Premier League job. Out of the 209 bosses since 1992, only 85 got a second job.

Whilst most observers would clearly name Ferguson as the greatest ever Premier League manager, the mantle of worst is up for some debate. Statistically, Terry Connor’s zero wins from 13 games as Wolves caretaker boss would give him that title, although Remi Garde’s tenure at Villa sees him holding the worst record for anyone that has managed 20 games or more. The Frenchman’s woeful return of 10% is closely followed by former Swindon manager John Gorman who won only five out of his 42 games in Swindon’s one and only Premier League season.

Only two Premier League managers in the study, that looked at all permanent and caretaker bosses, have a 100% record, with David Unsworth and Scott Marshall both coaching for one game each and winning their respective matches. There are also four managers in the ‘zero’ club – Alex Inglethorpe, Graham Rix, David Kerslake and Kevin Bond were all named caretaker managers at their clubs but never took a game.

The study also showed that when it comes to silverware, there are three bosses that dominate, with the stats showing that Ferguson, Wenger and Jose Mourinho have won more major trophies (49) than every other Premier League Manager in total (48).

Shane Forster, Voucherbox UK Country Manager, said: “As fans we are used to hearing the familiar line of it being a ‘results business’ and that really is the case.

With 60% per cent of managers not getting a second shot at another Premier League club, it demonstrates just how ruthless top flight management really is and that life in the hot seat is a precarious one.”

Perform at your best with 15% off at adidas right now – exclusive to Voucherbox.co.uk.

Nico Rosberg

Could Lewis Nico the title? Data shows Rosberg’s worst performances are in Asia and the Americas

Americas and Asia are the F1 driver’s least successful destinations

Nico Rosberg, currently leading the Formula One drivers’ championship, may be feeling the pressure as both the Americas and Asia, home to the final three races of the year, are the German’s least successful destinations throughout his career.

According to data compiled by money saving website voucherbox.co.uk , Rosberg has finished on average sixth on tracks in the Americas and seventh at circuits in Asia1 across his career, compared to his favoured region Australasia where he typically finishes fourth2. With the final three events in Mexico, Brazil and Abu Dhabi, this could provide his teammate and world title rival Lewis Hamilton with the opportunity to race in and scoop the F1 crown.

In comparison to Rosberg, things are looking up for Hamilton as results show he achieves an average podium finish on tracks in the Americas and Asia, with him achieving one win and three second place finishes last year alone. His worst drives traditionally take place on European tracks3, where he is statistically more likely to finish fourth, one place lower than on all other continents. As a result, he may have good reason to keep the faith in catching Rosberg despite being 26 points behind his fellow Mercedes driver.

The championship could yet be decided on the last day and if the gap between the rivals is as close as ten points, the history books suggest that Hamilton would be in with a shot of victory. Fuelled by Rosberg’s 14th place finish in the 2014 Abu Dhabi race, the German notches up an average seventh position in the capital of the UAE. By contrast, Hamilton’s previous drives suggest he would finish in second position in Abu Dhabi.

Much has been made of Hamilton’s recent car issues, with the reigning champion describing the fear that his car would not make it over the finish line during the last race in Texas, USA. However, history looks to be on his side as Hamilton has only failed to complete a race in the Americas once in his ten-year career, during the Brazilian Grand Prix of 2011. In the same continent, Rosberg has been forced to retire twice.

Despite his range of final positions in the drivers’ championship over the years, Jenson Button could be considered Mr Consistent across the globe as he shows no real preference for a specific continent, with him finishing on average between 6th and 8th on almost all circuits.

Interestingly, the study reveals evidence of home advantage in Formula 1. For example, Australian Daniel Ricardo, has averaged a sixth place finish on home soil, compared to worse performances in Asia and Europe, with his most inferior results giving an average of ninth place in the Americas4.

Shane Forster, UK Country Manager of Voucherbox.co.uk said of the findings, “This analysis has provided a fascinating insight that the title is still very much up-for-grabs. We have compared the drivers against their own performances to see where they have travelled best over their careers. The fact that the final three races take place in some of Rosberg’s least preferred venues could make for a very interesting end to the season.”

The study analysed the performance of each and every one of the current drivers’ races throughout their careers and has looked to predict the final stages of the season based on historical performances across the globe. The findings go as far back as Jenson Button’s debut season in 2000.

If you’re looking to go to any of these destinations yourself, have a look at voucherbox’s Virgin Atlantic vouchers to knock some money off your flight.

 

NOTES TO EDITORS

 

Research carried out by Voucherbox.co.uk:

1 Nico Rosberg has an average finishing position on 6.47 in races in the Americas and 6.61 in races throughout Asia

2 Nico Rosberg has an average finishing position on 4.33 in the Australian Grand Prix across his career

3 Lewis Hamilton averages a finishing position of 3.96 in Europe, compared to 2.57 in Australasia, 3.00 in Asia and 2.93 in the Americas

4 Daniel Ricardo averages a finishing position of 6.33 in Austalisia, 7.20 in Aisa, 8.38 in Europe and 8.63 in the Americas.

Source: http://www.f1-fansite.com/f1-results/

What do we have to fear?

48% of people spend over £100 a year on fighting their fears

 

  • UK’s biggest fears include personal failure, insects and judgment from others
  • Google fear related searches increase by 40% during the month of Halloween
  • Fears most commonly effect confidence, self-esteem and the ability to live a normal life

Research from Voucherbox.co.uk has found that 48% of the 1,000 people surveyed have spent between £101 – £1,000 on treating their biggest fears. In a topical survey conducted during the month of Halloween, some of the biggest fears for men and women include personal failure (12%), insects for women (13%) and for men there is a fear of being judged by others (9%).

 

Purchasing out of Fear

The cost of treatment is not the only financial impact that fears have on people. Survey respondents also reported that their fears forced them to make certain purchases. The most common was self-help books and therapy, with 29% of respondents opting for hypnotherapy and psychotherapy to overcome their fear.

 

Facing your fears

More than 37 percent of people surveyed said that they face their fears head on, while 25 percent said they tend to procrastinate but eventually deal with their fear. 22 percent said they don’t have a strategy, they simply wait and hope it goes away on its own.

 

The fear effect

The number one reported effect of fear is the loss of confidence (26 percent), followed by self-esteem (20 percent) and the ability to lead a normal life (13 percent). 5% of survey participants reported losing a job due to their fear and 11 percent experienced bad health as a result and 7% lost a relationship.

 

What are our greatest fears?

The number one fear in the UK is the fear of personal failure which includes financial loss, unemployment and being alone with 12% of respondents confirming a fear in this area. 10% have a fear of social situations such as sex, relationships and public speaking, while 7% have a fear of death or sickness. 11% have a personal anxiety such as fear of clowns, heights and flying.

When it comes to gender split, 13% of women are afraid of insects, while 9% of men are afraid of being judged by others.

 

The Halloween fear factor

Voucherbox.co.uk has also found that the number of Google searches that include the words “fear” and “phobia” normally reach their apex around the end of October each year – right before Halloween. Feel like making some savings on self-help books? Take a look at our WHSmith vouchers.

For more details on the fear survey, check out the infographic here:

 

Fear Infographic UK

Feeling blue about the gender price gap

10 products and services where men pay more than women

Amidst the war against pink tax, new research from money saving website Voucherbox.co.uk reveals the gender price gap isn’t just hitting women, it preys on men too. Both genders can feel hard-done-by, having to fork out extra cash for almost identical items, with men being hit harder across many sectors, including clothing, vitamins and grooming products – just to name a few.

Suited and looted

Men about town are paying 58% more than women to put a spring in their step, as a London cobbler can add an extra £4 to the cost of a rubber heel replacement on a man’s shoe.

And that’s not the only part of their outfit men are shelling out more for. A similar trouser suit from M&S can cost 44% more for men, while a pack of undies will see an increase of almost a third (29%) compared to the female equivalent.

A bald move

Two thirds of all men will lose their hair eventually*, so it’s no surprise it is a common male concern. What is surprising, however, is the price difference of over-the-counter hair loss treatment between men and women. Examining a 12-month supply of Regaine 5% lotion from Boots, the results show men pay a huge 30% more than women when buying the equivalent product, despite the main active ingredient Minoxidil coming in the same 50mg/g quantity for both products.

Grooming cheek

As the interest in male pruning and grooming rises, it seems the price tags are rising with it. Chaps getting their legs waxed in London may find it costs 54% more than ladies in the same salon. Whilst men wanting a manicure can find a quick cut and file means they are shelling out up to 43% more.

While some items reportedly appear in the pink tax list, such as deodorant and moisturiser, Voucherbox reveals it isn’t exclusively so. Popular brands, Dove and Nivea, can be found charging more for branded men’s products. On the Boots website, Dove deodorant is 29 pence more expensive, whilst Nivea moisturiser is 61 pence more expensive despite containing 50ml less.

Feeling blue about the gender price gap

Shane Forster, Voucherbox UK Country Manager commented: “Whist pink tax seems to be more plentiful and visible in the media, this research highlights that gender inequalities are prevalent for both men and women. Whether pink or blue tax, when there is no justifiable reason why one is more expensive than the other, a difference in price simply should not exist. Companies have a responsibility to ensure that they are charging genders the same amounts for the same products, otherwise gender equality cannot be fully achieved.”

Make great savings at Boots with the latest deals and offers.

*Men’s Health Forum, https://www.menshealthforum.org.uk/hair-loss-faqs

Playground politics: Do you dislike your children’s friends?

41% of UK parents admit to disliking their child’s choice of friends

Research has revealed that over 40% of parents admit they actively dislike one or more of their children’s friends and that one in three can’t stand the parents of their kid’s pals either.

The survey, carried out by voucherbox.co.uk uncovers whether parents fight in the playground as much as their children.

The reasons for disliking their children’s friends vary drastically, but the most likely reasons are because they are badly behaved, spoilt, bullying or manipulative.

15% of parents dislike their child’s friend for misbehaviour, while 12% of parents think their kid’s best mate is spoilt.

29% of mothers dislike their children’s friend’s parents while 31% of dad’s can’t stand ‘em. Mum’s are less likely to do anything about it while dad’s are more likely to actively encourage their kids to make pals elsewhere.

So what can the long-suffering parents do about it? 29% of parents will subtly attempt to encourage other friendships, while 24% will keep quiet and silently seethe as their child spends time with a seemingly bad influence.

To deter these friendships from blossoming, 24% of parents will discourage their child from spending time with the family while a further 13% will speak to other parents for support (or a bit of a gossip).

35% of parents won’t invite the naughty child to their playdates in an attempt to freeze them out and discourage any further bond forming.

But the drama doesn’t stop there – parents across the UK have also admitted to disliking their children’s friends’ parents. 30% of parents have an issue with the parents of their child’s friends, with 17% claiming the reason is because they don’t control their child properly and 7% feeling as though they can’t be trusted with their children.

Shockingly enough, the parents that have issues with their kids aren’t just the parents of teenagers as might be expected. 34% of the children that parents dislike are actually aged between 2 and 5 years old, proving that age has no limit when it comes to making enemies.

Shane Forster, Country Manager of Voucherbox.co.uk says “Starting school and making friends is always a worry for parents. However, we don’t often think about what to do when they do make friends, but the grown-ups don’t like them! We are more used to learning about tension on the playground between kids rather than between adults, but it has been very interesting to see that when it comes to the parents they can often disapprove of their child’s choice of playmate!”

If you’re looking to sidetrack your child from spending time with this badly-behaved buddy, take a look at our Odeon vouchers for a distracting day out.

 

PlayDateInfographic

 

PlayDateInfographic