DESIGNERS have hidden a single open umbrella in this crowded street scene after research found it was one of the nation’s most lost items.
Premier Inn commissioned the brain teaser to mark its new rental umbrellas trial in 30 of its hotels launched in partnership with DripDrop– with a minimum of 15 percent of each borrowing fee going to the hotel chain's charity partner Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity (GOSH Charity).
The hotel chain found 10 per cent of Brits will lose or break 10 or more umbrellas in their lifetime.
The survey of 2,000 UK adults also showed 28 per cent have turned up to an important work meeting soaking wet as they didn’t have a brolly.
Despite almost a fifth of Brits owning three umbrellas, one in 10 have spent up to £50 on replacements.
James Latham from Premier Inn, which carried out the nationwide study on Brits’ brolly use, said: "With sixty per cent of Brits owning two or more umbrellas it seems they still can’t help losing and breaking them and needing to buy new ones on the spur of the moment.
“Our survey shows people never learn when it comes to keeping their umbrellas safe, with people losing them, forgetting them and or never seeing them again after lending them to friends.
“Umbrellas are one of the most commonly requested items from our reception team so we decided to team up with DripDrop to introduce their brolly rental service into some of our hotels to help our guests avoid turning up soaked to everything from job interviews to weddings.”
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Almost a fifth of those polled (18 per cent) said they had broken or lost an umbrella after just one outing.
Buses, trains, restaurants and offices are the top places Brits lose brollies – never to see them again.
More than a fifth have lost one in a shop, someone else’s car and a café, with nine per cent misplacing one at a child’s play centre.
Of those who said they had broken a brolly, a quarter admitted it was their fault for opening it 'too vigorously'.
Nearly a fifth wrecked one after getting it trapped inside a car door, but 85 per cent said wind had wrecked their umbrella by blowing it inside out.
Almost a tenth said it got broken after a pet clawed it, while 14 per cent ruined one by sitting on it – or even running it over.
Close to a fifth also get caught in the rain without a brolly up to 10 times a year – with 54 per cent blaming forgetfulness for their soaking and 38 per cent not bothering to check the forecast before going out.
Nearly 20 per cent have had to regularly jump in a taxi or other transport when they had planned to walk because of a lack of protection from the weather.
Along with days at work and important meetings, Brits said they had also turned up wet to birthdays (27 per cent), funerals (24 per cent), a gig (23 per cent), date (22 per cent) and anniversary dinner (18 per cent) due to their lack of an umbrella.
Nearly a third even owned up to breaking or losing a brolly after they borrowed it from a relative or friend.
And 81 per cent said they agreed it was a good idea for hotels to offer umbrellas to guests, according to the OnePoll.com figures.
Despite Brits’ carelessness when it comes to umbrellas, they are superstitious about their power – with 45 per cent of those polled fearing it is bad luck to open one indoors.
To find out more about Premier Inn’s umbrella hire scheme or to purchase your very own to keep click here.
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