If I see a penny on the floor and it’s tails, I have to flip it over and leave it there or else I will get bad luck.
My informant told me about this superstition while we were walking. I had spotted a penny on the floor and was going to pick it up until he stopped me. Then, I asked him where he had got this idea from. He told me that he was sure that somebody had told him but was unsure about who the specific person was. Nest, I asked him whether he really believes that picking up a tails penny would be bad luck. He said that he did not but it does not hurt to listen to this superstition.
I feel like this superstition derived from the other superstition that finding a penny that is heads up is good luck. Somebody might have wondered how to respond if they were to find a penny that was tail side up, and simply come to the conclusion that the opposite side should provide good luck. Following this, the whole act of flipping the tails coin to heads helps increase the chance that somebody else will find the good luck penny. For me, I believe that this superstition is a way for people to feel good about themselves in a small way. By flipping the coin to heads, a person would feel like they have first of all vanquished the potential for bad luck and at the same time, saved somebody else from it.