The secret meaning behind those winning Powerball numbers
And what they say about the person who picked them
- Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
- Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)
- Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)
- Click to print (Opens in new window)
Ladies and gentlemen, may we present the winningest six numbers on the face of the planet right now:
4, 6, 7, 16, 23 and, last but not least, 26.
Some lucky stiff walked into the Pride Station and Store in Chicopee, Massachusetts, 90 miles west of Boston, and used those six numbers to win the second-largest-ever payout — $758 million — from the Powerball lottery. The numbers were drawn from two drums Wednesday night at one minute before 9 p.m. Pacific time. That much we know. What we don’t know, and what the world is on the edge of its seat to find out, is who the heck won and why did they select those particular numbers?
So while we wait to find out, let’s look at what those six numerals might actually mean.
For that, we turn to Numerology, the ancient practice of seeking deeper meaning in numbers, including how certain numerals relate to certain events and even possess personality traits. You can blame the Greek philosopher Pythagoras and his cohorts who figured that mathematical concepts were more “practical” and easier to regulate and classify than physical ones, so numbers had more, well, metaphysical muscle.
Then you had St. Augustine of Hippo weigh in, saying “numbers are the Universal language offered by the deity to humans as confirmation of the truth.” Like Pythagoras, Augustine believed that everything had numerical relationships and it was up to the human mind to make sense of it all, hopefully finding divine grace in the process.
Which takes us to the divine grace enveloping that guy or gal who walked into the Pride gas station, probably to buy a pack of smokes. For whatever reasons, they chose those six numbers and plunged headlong into a whole mess of otherworldly magic.
To be precise, it was exactly $758.7 million worth of magic — and the damn ticket cost them just two bucks.
So let’s look at the numbers, one by one. According to various numerology sources, the single-digit numbers, 1 – 9, are the foundation of the science of Numerology. Each has its own personality, complete with strengths, quirks, shortcomings and the ability to walk and chew gum at the same time. Let’s have a look:
Like its single-digit sister numbers, 4 has both positive and negative characteristics: 4s are disciplined, strong, stable, pragmatic, down-to-earth, reliable, dependable, hard-working and precise. Perhaps those traits also reflect those of the winning ticket’s buyer who, just maybe, was a salt-of-the-earth kind of guy, a plumber perhaps, filling his tank after a pragmatic and reliable day at work. On the other hand, 4s tend toward the boring side, expressing themselves with a lack of imagination or empathy. 4s also may not bother to put much care into their appearance, and their social awkwardness can make them seem vulgar or crude. But hey, let’s give the plumber a break; he probably was ending a really tough shift.
Sixes are cool. Their characteristics include being responsible, loving, self-sacrificing and compassionate. But they can also be overly protective and become downright suspicious and paranoid. The number 6 also refers to earthly matters, and you can find naturally occurring instances of 6 in magnified photos of water crystals and snowflakes. Or slice open a tomato and you’ll find six chambers. So that must have been an easy choice for the Powerball winner.
- Powerball: More luck at Milpitas gas station, with five-number winner
- How Powerball manipulated the odds to make another massive jackpot
Living right next-door to 6, 7’s are known as the seeker, the thinker, the searcher of Truth with a capital “T”. 7s never take anything at face value but are always digging deeper for meaning, trying to grasp at hidden truths. And while grasping at hidden truths doesn’t seem like something you’d do when you walk into a filling station store, perhaps that customer trying to come up with six numbers had an epiphany and saw something the rest of us might not have seen.
According to Joanne Sacred Scribes, a website that uses so-called “Angel numbers” and repeating numerical sequences to find life’s deeper meanings, 16 provides something of a double whammy: “Number 16 is a combination of the energies and attributes of the numbers 1 and 6. Number 1 resonates with new beginnings, striving forward and progress, self-leadership and assertiveness, self-reliance and achievement, inspiration and attainment. The number 6 relates to love of home and family and domesticity, service to others and selflessness, responsibility and reliability, providing for the self and others, and nurturing. Number 16 resonates with personal willpower, independence, initiative, action and overcoming obstacles.” If true, that lady standing at the Pride check-out counter must have had all sorts of inner emotions raging while she picked her digits.
Now things are getting weird. Who knew all the weird supernatural powers people attach to 23? Here are just a few:
- 23 is one of the most commonly cited prime numbers – a number that can only be divided by itself and one;
- The number has been the subject of two films: the 1998 German movie, 23, and The Number 23, starring Jim Carrey. Each has a main character obsessed with the number. Carrey’s character discovers an obscure book about the number 23 that “leads him on a descent into darkness,” says one review. “As he becomes more obsessed with its contents, he becomes more convinced that it is, in fact, based on his life. To his horror, he discovers grave consequences in store for the book’s main character.”
- John Forbes Nash, the Nobel Prize-winning economist who was the subject of the film, A Beautiful Mind, starring Russell Crowe, was also obsessed with 23, a number that became an integral part of his struggles with mental illness. His breakdown started when he claimed that a photograph of Pope John XXIII on the cover of Life magazine was in fact him, the proof being that 23 was his favorite number. Oh yeah – Nash also published 23 scientific articles.
- Finally, we have the 23rdians. Yes, they are a thing. This group of people subscribe to the mystical power of 23 and see it in multiple combinations throughout daily life. Perhaps the Powerball winner will share a similar obsession once we find out who it is.
- On the website twentythree.plus.com, a person named Bubba weighs in with his own take on this strange number: “23 has occurred in association with positive events and extremely negative events. (I spotted my first grey hair the morning of my 23rd birthday.) More recently, X2 completely dislocated foot from her ankle without any bones breaking in a freak riding accident. The 911 call was logged at 6.23 PM. The date? March 23. After I found and purchased my “dream home” I learned that 23 figured significantly in the legal description of the property. To me, the 23 enigma is a somewhat disturbing example of the power of mental programming. We are all subject to outside programming through the normal processes of childhood development, education, and social interaction. It is possible to reprogram our minds ourselves but great care must be taken in selecting the programs we wish to incorporate. Equally important, we must take great care to control the programming process to minimize the potential for unintended consequences.” And with that we wholeheartedly agree!
We can’t quite figure it out, but 26 is apparently linked somehow to the god of Israel, or Yahweh. Other references, though, are much more clear. The Greeks associated 26 with “agape” or love. Finally, some Numerologists believe that the number 26 reflects traits like efficiency (pull into the gas station, quickly fill the tank, walk inside, pick six numbers, walk back to the car) and diplomacy (be friendly to the clerk at the Powerball counter). 26 also bears similarities to the number 8’s business acumen, and it shares 8’s insistence, says one website, “on balance and focus on building things society finds useful and are likely to endure for a long time.”
A look at what this week's winning Powerball numbers might mean.
Winner of $766m Powerball jackpot can keep the money and her secret, judge rules
Judge Charles Temple listens to lawyer Steven Gordon, who represents the lottery winner. Photo / AP
The mysterious winner of a $560 million ($766m) lottery ticket who fought to keep her identity a secret is allowed to stay anonymous, a judge ruled.
Not much is known about the southern New Hampshire woman, who won the Powerball jackpot in January and asked a judge to let her stay out of the public eye. The judge last week ruled that the woman could claim her prize money while he considered whether her privacy interests outweighed the state’s lottery rules.
William Shaheen, a lawyer for the woman, had accepted a cheque for a lump sum of US$352m, about US$264m after taxes, reports said. The first thing he did was give a total of about US$249,000 to a couple of nonprofits – Girls Inc. and three chapters of End 68 Hours of Hunger – and said the woman plans to give away as much as US$50m in the future.
Judge Charles Temple granted the woman anonymity and ruled that revealing her name would be an invasion of privacy, in part because lottery winners in general are subject to “repeated solicitation, harassment, and even violence,” Temple wrote in his 16-page resolution. He cited how a past lottery winner received a bomb threat, how another had received nonstop phone calls and how several others had received requests from strangers who wanted handouts.
“The Court therefore has no difficulty finding that [the woman] would also be subject to similar solicitation and harassment if her identity were disclosed,” Temple wrote.
He did rule, however, that the woman’s hometown can be publicly released, as it was “highly unlikely” that the woman could be identified as the winner solely based on her hometown.
New Hampshire lottery rules have required the winner’s name, town and amount won be available for public information, in accordance with open-records laws and to increase trust in the lottery system. Lawyers for the state and the lottery commission had argued that the woman should not be allowed to exempt herself from the rules. The state Attorney-General’s office said the woman’s name must be revealed because she signed the back of the ticket, USA Today reported.
She does not have to publicly disclose her name, but must reveal her hometown.