The number sequence 6-6-6 is seldom associated with luck, but Kentucky lottery players appear optimistic.
Thousands of hopeful players quickly snatched up the 10,000 available Pick 3 tickets with the numbers 6-6-6 for today's midday drawing at 1:20 p.m., lottery spokesman Chip Polston said. The 10,000 available tickets for the 11 p.m. drawing were expected to be sold by early afternoon.
Pick 4 tickets with the numbers 6-6-0-6 — as many as 800 can be sold for both the midday and evening drawings — also were sold out.
Kentucky Lottery employees were not surprised by the numbers' popularity, Polston said.
"Triple numbers in a row will usually sell out during the span of a normal day," Polston said. "But this date adds importance, so more folks will want to play those numbers. We were expecting they would be gone quickly."
Winning combinations in both games are guaranteed money. The agency could give away as much as $3 million total to winners of the daily Pick 3 game and $2 million to Pick 4 winners.
The 6-6-6 winning combination was last picked on July 16, 2005, and has been drawn eight times in the history of the game.
Lottery players are frequently influenced by an important date. Players often look for significant numbers to use, Polston said. For example, many people choose 9-1-1 on anniversaries of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
The superstition is similar in lotteries around the country. When American Airlines Flight 587 crashed in Queens, N.Y., on Nov. 12, 2001, the New Jersey Lottery's Pick 3 draw was 5-7-8 in the morning and 5-8-7 for the drawing later that day.
Polston said he expects the trend to continue.
"For whatever reason, lottery players can be a superstitious bunch. If there is a significant date or odd combination, they'll choose those numbers."