January 13, 2012
Do you have a lucky number? If you are a perfectly rational person, yet you continue to buck statistics and gravitate toward certain digits, you aren't alone.
"People have been doing this for centuries," said B. Sidney Smith, a mathematician and founder of the website PlatonicRealms.com. "Numbers underlying reality is an ancient tradition that pops up in all civilizations historically." He cited Pythagoras, the Greek philospher and mathematician whose theories are still used today.
"Once Western civilization became a faith-based society, numbers had this mystical tinge and it became a dangerous thing, like it was secret and naughty," he said. "My degree is in mathematical logic, so I'm a doctor of rationality. (Believing in lucky numbers) has nothing to do with mathematics, which is all logic and reasoning — but that doesn't make it any less beautiful or interesting."
Smith thinks it's simply another way to find meaning through life's many uncertainties.
We asked our readers if they believe in lucky numbers — here were some of their responses
"The number that follows me is 11," wrote Adam."During a critical juncture in my life I looked at a bank clock and it was 11:11 and 11 seconds. It was a moment of epiphany for me. Now I always look at the clock at 11:11, see 1111 on license plates, addresses, dates. … For me it represents change, growth, and a reminder of where I have come from."
Kim also feels 11 is her lucky number. "What could be better than two ones and better than a 10?" she wrote. "It was my jersey number for soccer too."
"I had a party on 11/11/11 and I took my college loan out on 8/8/88," wrote Heather. "My favorite number of all time is and will always be five! I will be on high alert this Friday for sure."
"The number 17 has followed me forever," wrote Andrew. "Back in 1987, I was 17 and everything in my life seemed to work out perfectly. Never had a year like that ever since."
"My lucky number is nine," wrote John. "Ever since I saw it on Randy Hundley's Cubs jersey in 1969. I'm always on the look out for it."
"Lucky number is seven for me," wrote Alison. "It's in my original home address and twice in our phone number. And it was my dad's lucky number. I have it on my license plate now."
"There is the Jewish tradition of offering gifts and donations in multiples of 18," wrote Jodi. "That number corresponds alphabetically with 'chai' in Hebrew, which means 'life.' "
"Was born on the 13th and it's always been my favorite number," wrote Diane. "Tried to get married on the 13th but it was a Sunday. We always celebrate Friday the 13th. My husband surprised me with tickets to a show this Friday."
"I went into labor on a Friday the 13th," wrote Nora. "Myself and every maternity ward staffer made sure the baby came on the 14th."
Michelle wrote, "I don't necessarily have a lucky number, but have always had good things happen to me on Friday the 13th. Let's hope it continues."
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