The Number 17- The Least Random Number (According to MIT that is). That name comes from a statistical study in which people were asked to choose a random number from 1 to 20. 17 came up the most. Seven is often seen as a lucky number- one of the digits in 17. The other is the number one, and if you add them up you get to 8, another lucky number for some. Is this all just superstition and mumbo jumbo? Well yes, obviously! Don’t knock it though- I bet you have a lucky number.
The Number Seventeen (17). Is this one of your lucky roulette numbers? It certainly worked for Mike Ashley, the owner of Newcastle United Football Club. He famously won £1.3 million on a single spin with this number in the Fifty St James Club in Mayfair (the casino has closed down now- maybe that was why).
Sean Connery also had some great luck with the number 17 on the roulette table. He bet and won on seventeen 3 times in a row in Italy in the sixties.
What’s the best way to cover the number? Well, you can make a straight up roulette bet on the individual number 17. That’s easy enough- number 17 is a black number that lies between the number 25 and 34 when you play European Roulette and between 32 and 5 on an American wheel. On the betting table it is one of the centre numbers along wit the number 20.
It lies within the 2nd of the dozens bets (13-24) and makes up part of the middle column bet. You can also cover it playing black, odd and low (1-18) on the even money bets.
17 is a Prime Number (the seventh- also a lucky number- maybe it’s double lucky). It only divides by itself and one if you want a result that is a whole number or integer. And of course it is a natural number, meaning it’s not a fraction.
The number 17 seems to pop up everywhere mathematics, as well as in sciences, law, music, religion, sports, and other areas.
Do you know what the 17th letter of the Greek alphabet is? It’s π (Pi), another magical number if you like circles.
Other Weird Stuff about Seventeen
If you add up the first 4 prime numbers, you get to 17 (2+3+5+7).
17 falls between 16 (which can be a represented by a square with sides of 4) and 18 (which can be represented by an oblong rectangle). These are the only shapes that have equal numbers for their perimeters and their areas. This only works for 2 natural numbers, 16 and 18. 17 sits in the middle.
17 is the minimum possible number of givens in sudoku for a puzzle with a unique solution.
17 is the atomic number for chlorine and is the age you need to be to drive a car in the United Kingdom. You can also donate blood when you get to this age and you can join the US army without your parent’s consent (if you are American citizen of course).
There have been quite a few bands named after 17, including Heaven 17 and a South Korean boy band called Seventeen. Ricky Martin once released an album called Seventeen. We prefer the Cure’s Seventeen seconds though. Bands as diverse as Jethro Tull, The Kings of Leon, The Smashing Pumpkins have written songs called 17.
Heaven 17- Temptation
The classic 80s track….big budget videos in those days!
If we are talking movies, there is an Alfred Hitchcock film called the number seventeen, and perhaps more relevant to roulette is the movie “The Significance of Seventeen” starring Cindy Taylor; which is all about the high occurence of the number 17 and its label as ‘the least random number’ by MIT.
17 has long referred to at MIT as ‘the least random number’, the sacred number of Eris, Goddess of Discord (along with 23 and 5). In pops up again in the Hacker’s Jargon File, a famous glossary of programmer slang, where 17 is again referred to as the least random number.
Yellow Pig Day
Yellow Pig Day was launched in the sixties when two maths students from Princeton spent a lot of their time thinking about the number 17. They went a little crazy, and invented a yellow pig with 17 toes, 17 teeth, and so on. To celebrate, there is now a Yellow Pig Day on the 17th July
Seventeen is also a magazine aimed at teenage girls, and it’s when wizards come of age in Harry Potter.
17 in Religion
17 chapters were written by Zoroaster (the Gathas) in the Yasna of Zoroastrianism Muslims do 17 raka’ahs daily during Salat (repetitions before praying).
17 is the number of guns in a 17-gun salute to U.S. Army, Air Force and Marine Corps Generals. B-17 was the name of the Flying Fortress bomber in the Second World War. It is also the maximum number of strokes you can have in a Chinese character. It’s also the number to call the cops in France. A Japanese Haiku poem contains 17 syllables. The White House is located on the 17th street in Washington. If you add 1 and 7, you get the number 8, a very lucky number in China. That also works for a 26 roulette bet or a 35 of course.
Unlucky in Italy
In Italy, the number 17 is unlucky. It is written as XVII in Roman script, which is an anagram of VIXI, which means “I have lived”, or “My life is over.”
If you are a fan of numerology (the belief in divine, mystical relationships between a numbers and life in general), 17 stacks up pretty well.
The number 17 is a highly spiritual number. 17 is known as an extremely lucky number. Add 1 and 7 together and you get 8- again a very lucky number, especially to the Chinese. According to numerology, 17s (people born on the 17th of the month) are strong and likely to take risks. They often dream of having money and power. If they have an A, J or S first initial, they may become very rich.
There you have it. Seventeen- a really interesting number! A roulette classic, in fact, with plenty of stories on it. One last 17 fact for you. The age of the universe? It’s 4.22 x 10^17 seconds (4.22 time 10 to the power of 17 seconds). Spooky! 😉