How Lucky Strikes Got Their Weird Name

Out of all the cigarette brands out there, the one that has caused the most speculation as to the origins of its name is hands down, Lucky Strike. Several theories have been evolved over the years, most of them quite weird to be honest.

The most dominant one is that Lucky Strikes were named that way because every so often (some say once every 1,000 packs), the company would have tossed in a marijuana cigarette.If you were lucky to get that cigarette you got the “lucky strike” hence their name!

Another, more brutal urban myth, is that Luckies got their name from Vietnam War (despite the fact that Lucky Strike were introduced some 80 years before the war). Anyway, according to this theory, Americans soldiers were dropping cigarette supplies to the Vietnamese. Apparently, Vietnamese were stupid enough to smoke them at night (no comment) hence the American soldiers were able to spot them with the first puff, put them on target with the second puff and shoot them during the third puff! Allegedly, the company that was providing the cigarettes to the military named their cigarettes Lucky Strike as a reference to that. (the article continues after the ad)

But even though both of these stories are amusing, they couldn’t be further from the truth.  

Lucky Strike was named after the Gold Rush era. As mentioned above, the cigarettes were introduced in 1871, initially as a chewing tobacco and then as a cigarette brand from R. Patterson. At that time, the gold rush was at its peak with thousands of gold diggers trying to “strike” a gold seam. Of course, the lucky ones were just a few (remember when we talked about the Luck of the Irish?) but Patterson used this gold frenzy to his advantage. He named his tobacco “Lucky Strike” because whoever preferred his cigarettes he was increasing his chances of having the “lucky strike” (to find gold) since it was a high quality tobacco! Hence the name Lucky Strike.

Now you know. But hey, the myths are more exciting than the truth, aren’t they?

If you like what you read, then you will definitely love this one: What Does ‘Marlboro’ Mean?

Photos: Creative Commons
Photoshop: I’m A Useless Info Junkie
Source: Marijuana in Lucky StrikeThe origin of “the lucky strike”Lucky Strike: 30 facts about the cigarettes!

Widget not in any sidebars

This Is How You Beat A Lie Detector Test

After Which Wall Was ‘Wall Street’ Named After?