That lucky feeling could be because you were born in May

PEOPLE born in May are more likely to have a spring in their step than those who started life in January, new research showed yesterday.

The study reveals that it is possible to be "born lucky" depending on the time of year your mother gave birth.

More than 40,000 people submitted their birthdates to researchers and rated the degree to which they saw themselves as lucky or unlucky.

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Those born between March and August considered themselves luckier than people born between September and February.

The percentage of "lucky" births rose during the spring, peaked in May, and dropped off again in the autumn.

Professor Richard Wiseman, a psychologist at the University of Hertfordshire, who led the research as part of the Edinburgh International Science Festival, said: "The effect might be due to changes in how some parents interact with their babies during summer and winter, but we won't know for certain until we have conducted additional research."

Half of those born in May fell into the "lucky" bracket. This figure dropped to 43 per cent in the unluckiest month, October.

Professor Wiseman pointed out that those born in May experienced the whole summer during their first six months, while October-borns encountered the winter.

He carried out the research with the help of Professor Jayanti Chotai, from Umea University in Sweden, who has previously shown that winter-borns tend to exhibit less novelty-seeking behaviour than summer-borns.

Prof Chotai said: "The environmental factors around the birth period, like exposure to sunshine and temperature could all influence the body’s biological systems, with effects extending into adulthood. These results are exciting and will help us understand these complex relationships."

Lucky "May-borns" include rugby player Jonny Wilkinson, footballer David Beckham and model Jordan. Harry Potter author JK Rowling was a "summer" baby born in July.

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Singer Peter Andre, presenter Vanessa Feltz and the Prince of Wales were all born in February, while Liberal Democrat leader Charles Kennedy was born in November.

Professor Wiseman urged people not to despair if they think they were born at an "unlucky" time of year.

"The good news for winter-borns is that people can improve their luck by being more optimistic and making the most of the opportunities that come their way," he said.