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Victory awaits him who has everything in order — luck, people call it. Defeat is certain for him who has neglected to take the necessary precautions in time; this is called bad luck. ~ Roald Amundsen

Luck is a chance happening, or that which happens beyond a person's control, and can be referred to as "good luck" or "bad luck".


Alphabetized by author
  • Victory awaits him who has everything in order — luck, people call it. Defeat is certain for him who has neglected to take the necessary precautions in time; this is called bad luck.
  • No amount of careful planning can beat pure luck.
  • Kaji: So, she hasn't changed, has she, Mister Shinji Ikari?
Shinji: Well... Huh? How do you know my name?
Kaji: Well, of course I do. You're famous in our business. The Third Child, who piloted an Eva in battle with no training.
Shinji: Oh, no, it was just luck.
Kaji: Luck is a part of your destiny. It's your talent. Well, I'll see you later.
  • As ill-luck would have it.
  • Anton Chigurh: What's the most you ever lost on a coin toss?
Gas Station Proprietor: Sir?
Anton Chigurh: The most. You ever lost. On a coin toss.
Gas Station Proprietor: I don't know. I couldn't say.
[Chigurh flips a quarter from the change on the counter and covers it with his hand]
Anton Chigurh: Call it.
Gas Station Proprietor: Call it?
Anton Chigurh: Yes.
Gas Station Proprietor: For what?
Anton Chigurh: Just call it.
Gas Station Proprietor: Well, we need to know what we're calling it for here.
Anton Chigurh: You need to call it. I can't call it for you. It wouldn't be fair.
Gas Station Proprietor: I didn't put nothin' up.
Anton Chigurh: Yes, you did. You've been putting it up your whole life you just didn't know it. You know what date is on this coin?
Gas Station Proprietor: No.
Anton Chigurh: 1958. It's been traveling twenty-two years to get here. And now it's here. And it's either heads or tails. And you have to say. Call it.
Gas Station Proprietor: Look, I need to know what I stand to win.
Anton Chigurh: Everything.
Gas Station Proprietor: How's that?
Anton Chigurh: You stand to win everything. Call it.
Gas Station Proprietor: Alright. Heads then.
[Chigurh removes his hand, revealing the coin is indeed heads]
Anton Chigurh: Well done.
[the gas station proprietor nervously takes the quarter with the small pile of change he's apparently won while Chigurh starts out]
Anton Chigurh: Don't put it in your pocket, sir. Don't put it in your pocket. It's your lucky quarter.
Gas Station Proprietor: Where do you want me to put it?
Anton Chigurh: Anywhere not in your pocket. Where it'll get mixed in with the others and become just a coin. Which it is.
[Chigurh leaves and the gas station proprietor stares at him as he walks out]
  • We are going to die, and that makes us the lucky ones. Most people are never going to die because they are never going to be born. The potential people who could have been here in my place but who will in fact never see the light of day outnumber the sand grains of Sahara. Certainly those unborn ghosts include greater poets than Keats, scientists greater than Newton. We know this because the set of possible people allowed by our DNA so massively outnumbers the set of actual people. In the teeth of these stupefying odds it is you and I, in our ordinariness, that are here. We privileged few, who won the lottery of birth against all odds, how dare we whine at our inevitable return to that prior state from which the vast majority have never stirred?
  • I don't watch the ball. I watch them. Like I said — You make your own luck. Perception is reality. And it doesn't matter a tuppeny toss where the ball actually lands... Just as long as they see what I want them to see.
  • As they who make
    Good luck a god count all unlucky men.
  • Shallow men believe in luck, believe in circumstances: It was somebody's name, or he happened to be there at the time, or, it was so then, and another day it would have been otherwise. Strong men believe in cause and effect.
  • Happy art thou, as if every day thou hadst picked up a horseshoe.
  • No one I met at this time — doctors, nurses, practicantes, or fellow-patients — failed to assure me that a man who is hit through the neck and survives it is the luckiest creature alive. I could not help thinking that it would be even luckier not to be hit at all.
  • Elisa Maza: You have to quit! He's using you!
Derek Maza: It's my life! Butt out!
Goliath: QUIET! Both of you! You don't know how lucky you are to have siblings to fight with! All of my rookery brothers are dead! And there is nothing - NOTHING more important than family.
  • Luck is the residue of design.
    • Branch Rickey, as quoted in Psychology Applied to Work : An Introduction to Industrial and Organizational Psychology (1982) by Paul M. Muchinsky, p. 482; this has often become paraphrased as : "Luck is the residue of hard work and design".
  • Sed res docuit id verum esse, quod in carminibus Appius ait, fabrum esse suae quemque fortunae.
    • But experience has shown that to be true which Appius says in his verses, that every man is the architect of his own fortune.
      • Sallust, Epistulae ad Caesarem senem, I.i.2.
  • Good luck in most cases comes through the misfortune of others.
    • Sir John Young “Jackie” Stewart (b. 1939), Scottish racing driver, businessman. From his interview with Martyn Lewis, in Lewis’ book, Reflections on Success (1997), p. 938.
  • The only thing I ever learned was that some people are lucky and other people aren't and not even a graduate of the Harvard Business School can say why.
    • Kurt Vonnegut, as quoted in "The Sirens of Titan" by character Noel Constant.
  • It reminds us that a man driven to desire to possess a certain female is a highly purposive individual. We have already noted that evolution tends to mark time when individuals have no reason to evolve. The same applies to individuals; they may be talented and intelligent, and yet waste their lives because they somehow lack the motivation to make use of these faculties. The best piece of luck that can befall any individual is to have a strong sense of purpose.
    • Colin Wilson in From Atlantis to the Sphinx, p. 225 (1996)

Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations[edit]

Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 484.
  • O, once in each man's life, at least,
    Good luck knocks at his door;
    And wit to seize the flitting guest
    Need never hunger more.
    But while the loitering idler waits
    Good luck beside his fire,
    The bold heart storms at fortune's gates,
    And conquers its desire.
  • A farmer travelling with his load
    Picked up a horseshoe on the road,
    And nailed it fast to his barn door,
    That luck might down upon him pour;
    That every blessing known in life
    Might crown his homestead and his wife,
    And never any kind of harm
    Descend upon his growing farm.
  • Now for good lucke, cast an old shooe after mee.
  • Some people are so fond of ill-luck that they run half-way to meet it.
  • Felix ille tamen corvo quoque rarior albo.
    • A lucky man is rarer than a white crow.
    • Juvenal, Satires, VII. 202.
  • "Then here goes another," says he, "to make sure,
    For there's luck in odd numbers," says Rory O'More.
  • Good luck befriend thee, Son; for at thy birth
    The fairy ladies danced upon the hearth.
  • And wheresoe'er thou move, good luck
    Shall fling her old shoe after.

See also[edit]

Luckiest People In The World

External links[edit]

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