What Is America's Luckiest City?

Christina Ng
ABC News Blogs

San Diego topped Men's Health magazine's list of America's Luckiest Cities. (Photo credit: David Olsen/Getty Images)

How do you measure luck? Men’s Health magazine came up with its own criteria that it used to rank the 100 luckiest cities in America.

The ranking was based on positive factors such as lottery wins and numbers of holes-in-one and negative factors such as people struck by lightning and injuries from random falling objects.

So which city came out on top? Based on the magazine’s luck assessment, San Diego is the luckiest city in America. Baltimore and Phoenix followed in second and third.

San Diego is known for its miles of beaches, boardwalks and marinas. And now, it is America’s luckiest city.

Men’s Health deputy editor Matt Marion told ABCNews.com that when the staff brainstorms for monthly columns it tries to focus on issues that are important in readers’ lives, which are often fairly obvious.

But for this month, they chose luck as something important to readers but less obvious for making rankings.

“Luck certainly is something that a lot of us give a pretty good amount of power to in our lives and focus on at different times in our lives,” Marion said.

Once the idea was conceived, the researchers had to figure out how to execute it.

“How the heck are we going to define this?” Marion said. “This is not something you see in a data set.”

They narrowed down their criteria to six categories: “the most winners of Powerball, Mega Millions and Publishers Clearing House sweepstakes; most hole-in-ones, according to the PGA; fewest lightning strikes, including the fatal kind, and deaths from falling objects, according to Vaisala Inc., the National Climatic Data Center and the CDC; and least money lost on lottery tickets and race betting, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.”

“Sports are something that luck is often given some kind of role in and, in terms of that, nothing is luckier than hitting a hole in one,” Marion said. “It’s very hard to argue that that’s just skill.”

“In terms of bad luck, what else can there be than being hit by lightening or something falling out of the sky to hit you?”

The bottom five cities on the list were Sioux Falls, S.D.; Memphis, Tenn.; Jackson, Miss.; Tampa, Fla.; and Charleston, S.C.

Marion emphasized that Men’s Health is about making your own luck by being proactive in your life, but conceded that everyone needs a little luck.

“Luck is something that resonates with people,” Marion said. “No matter what you believe – your religious, personal or philosophical beliefs – I think everybody gives at least a little bit of credence to luck.”

But Marion doesn’t want any city to get too comfortable in its ranking because luck is fleeting.

“The thing about luck is it isn’t ultimately something you have control over,” Marion said. “Since we know luck is changeable, who knows where any city will fall next year?”

Top 10 luckiest cities:

San Diego



Wilmington, Del.

Richmond, Va.

San Francisco

Las Vegas


Louisville, Ky.

Reno, Nev.