Cash gifts ending in 1 or 5


A cash gift in India will end with the number 1 or 5. So, if giving money as a gift, the amount will be 11, or 21, or 31 and so on. Even higher amounts like 51, 101 – the extra rupee or dollar is for good luck.


JG is 59 years old and my mother. She grew up in India with a very religious Hindu family, before immigrating to the USA. Her parents were spiritual and superstitious. As a child, she participated in lots of rituals that were believed to provide good luck.


First of all, now I know why whenever a family member gives me money for my birthday, it’s always $51 rather than $50, for example. I have always wondered that but felt awkward asking.

Second, I relate to the practice of having lucky numbers. Personally, mine is 13 because of Taylor Swift. I have done something similar myself. When I was donating to a GoFundMe set up by a fellow Swiftie, I added an extra 13 cents to my donation (because they would understand). The 13’s are more for fun than anything else, but from my understanding, the 1’s and 5’s are said to ward off evil spirits.

There’s no logical link between numbers and good luck, but sometimes we like to think there is one. Whether that is for fun, or to relieve our anxiety about a situation, lucky numbers definitely play a huge role in a lot of cultures.