People Are Paying $10 for an App Where You Tap a Cactus for Luck

‘Lucky Cactus’ has nearly 100 five-star reviews.

Nov 3 2015, 1:00pm

A good luck app has been climbing its way up the iTunes store, with dozens of users thanking the $10 "Lucky Cactus" for everything from surviving near-death experiences or avoiding jail time to passing exams.

The app, which is now number 51 on the iTunes top 100 paid apps list, advertises itself with a cryptic description that stops short of promising anything in particular. It reads:

What is the Lucky Cactus?
It is a state of mind
Tap it.
It may or may not give you luck
Tap it.
Maybe it will
Tap it.
Money, love, power, whatever you want
Tap it.
Maybe it could all be yours

Featuring a potted cactus on a yellow background, the simple app invites users to tap away as emojis begin to waft away from the plant, including a dollar sign, leaf, tongue, and briefcase, seemingly representing areas of your life that could benefit from good luck.

$9.99 might seem steep for a good luck service that does not guarantee users good luck in its description, but the 96 users who gave it five-star reviews might beg to differ. Dozens of users have shared their own stories of good luck, from harrowing brushes with death to simple improvements in their days they've attributed to Lucky Cactus.

Some of these comments appear to be spam, coming from users with names like "cactusisbae" who have never reviewed any other apps. However, other users who left positive reviews have reviewed other apps over the years, and seem to be real people who feel their luck was changed by the app, or are at least willing to embrace a $10 joke for reasons unknown.

Of course, there are also many users who are disappointed by Lucky Cactus, and some who even say it had a negative effect, warning users against downloading it.

I downloaded the app last week to try it for myself. Lucky Cactus doesn't give users specific directions beyond 'tap the cactus for potential good luck,' so I tapped it about 10 times until I saw a dollar sign float up from the virtual plant and then closed the app.

A few hours later, I went to a coffee shop near my apartment, ordered a pastry and a coffee, and realized as I went to pay that I had left my money at home. In a miraculous stroke of luck, the barista told me not to worry about it, and gave me my order for free. Was it the magic of the app? Of course not, but the chance occasion made it clear to me how easy it is to attribute random positive events to the app, especially after spending $10 on it, and why the service may have garnered so many five star reviews.

Given my experience with Lucky Cactus, I may have broken even on my $10 purchase, so I can't say I wouldn't recommend it. And if you think the price is too expensive to make that gamble, there's a $3.99 Lucky Cactus Mini app in the app store that works in the same way.