Originally published November 10, 2011 at 9:02 PM | Page modified November 11, 2011 at 1:35 PM

11/11/11: One little number adds up to a lot

Jessica Andrews and Jamar Hall are getting married Friday at Seattle's Mount Zion Baptist Church, creating an anniversary date neither could possibly forget: 11/11/11.

Seattle Times staff reporter

11Luck, lore and random facts

THE DATE 11/11/11 is a numerical palindrome, meaning it reads the same forward and backward. What's more, it's something math nerds call a repunit — for repeated unit — made up only of 1s.

Here are other assorted facts involving the number 11:

World War I ended in 1918, on the 11th day of the 11th month at the 11th hour.

A total solar eclipse was observed throughout Europe on Aug. 11, 1999, at 11:11 a.m.

In astrology, the 11th house is the segment that rules one's friendship, hopes, social relations and desires.

Other notable 11's: A football team has 11 players; the largest cat in the world is a Siberian tiger, which measures 11 feet in length, and the most Oscars any movie has earned is 11 — a feat achieved by "Titanic," "Ben-Hur" and "Lord of the Rings: Return of the King."

Palindrome dates: Including 11/11/11, November has — surprise! — 11 palindromic dates. The others are: 11/1/11 (the only other repunit); 11/2/11; 11/3/11; 11/4/11; 11/5/11; 11/6/11; 11/7/11; 11/8/11; 11/9/11 and 11/22/11.

To learn more about repunit palindrome 111111:

Sources:; and Aziz Inan, professor of electrical engineering, University of Portland


Jessica Andrews and Jamar Hall are getting married Friday at Seattle's Mount Zion Baptist Church, creating an anniversary date neither could possibly forget: 11/11/11.

"His favorite number is 11," Andrews, a classical pianist, says of Hall, who works at the Apple Store in Bellevue. Plus, "he was born February 11. I knew it would be an easy day for him to remember."

Veterans Day and the anniversary of Washington's statehood (in 1889) have always fallen on Nov. 11, but this year the date has a global distinction as well: It's not just 11/11, it's 11/11/11 — a numerical palindrome that hasn't come around for a century and won't occur again for another 100 years.

The date is being recognized in all kinds of ways.

While doomsday prophets are predicting the beginning of the end of life on Earth, and Hollywood is chiming in with a horror-thriller called "11-11-11" that warns "the End is Now," New Age adherents are convinced the date will usher in a period of love. Gamblers are likely more excited than scared, considering 11 is a lucky number — blackjack players especially love it, and it's a popular number with lottery players, too.

Across the Puget Sound area, specially planned birthday bashes and weddings are crowding calendars, at least one new business is opening because of the date, and a group of math geeks who normally meet monthly on a Tuesday couldn't pass up the chance to gather instead on 11/11/11.

In Bellevue, Your Local Market, a new organic grocery, is opening at 11:11 a.m.

"How cool is that?" said Jason Brown, store founder. "How more unique of a moment could it be? Sure, people are getting married, but this is our first grocery store and we're as excited as could be."

"And it's nice to do something on Veterans Day," he added.

Seattle residents Tiffany Kane and Kyle Penton chose the day to get married.

The wedding, in Newport Beach, Calif., where Kane grew up, has luck as its theme — with everything from lucky pennies scattered on the floor, to lottery tickets under every seat to horseshoes hanging from the chairs.

The first wedding song? "Lucky in Love."

"We are superstitious and have always made wishes at 11:11 a.m. and p.m.," said Kane. "The more research we did on 11/11, we knew it was the perfect date for us, plus it is a hard date to forget your wedding anniversary."

Catherine Gerlach and Andy Boyer, of Seattle, are getting married Friday at Union Station, where members of the old Seattle Sonics crowd will be in attendance.

Former guard Desmond Mason will officiate, and Monique Payton, wife of former All-Star Gary Payton, is a bridesmaid.

"It will be a fun, fun day," said Gerlach. "The fact it's 11/11 is phenomenal."

Anita Conrad, of Kirkland, is hoping her first child, a son, will be born Friday. She didn't plan her pregnancy around this magical day, so "if it happens it will be a fluke," she said. "But it will be really cool and will be easy to remember his birthday," she said, adding: "I'm just hoping for a happy, healthy baby."

Vince Stricherz, of West Seattle, is celebrating his 59th birthday Friday with an open house that starts at 11:11 a.m. and goes to 11:11 p.m.

"This is a once-in-a-lifetime sort of thing," said Stricherz, who works in the news office at the University of Washington. He plans to start his party with "elevenses," a British snack similar to afternoon tea, but eaten in the morning, around 11 a.m.

Stricherz said he's not superstitious, but just wants to celebrate his special palindromic day. "You turn it upside down, inside out, no matter what you do it still comes out 11/11/11."

Additional note: It doesn't matter if you express the date in the order of month, day, year, as is done in America, or day, month, year, as is done in Europe. It's still 11/11/11.

In Everett, a group of former math teachers from around Puget Sound called ROMMEO — Retired Old Mathematics Men Eating Out — rescheduled their monthly lunch get-together from a Tuesday to 11/11/11. They're meeting at 11:11 a.m. and hoping 11 members will show up.

"Friday will be our 187th meeting," said co-founder Dennis Anderson. "Did you notice that if you subtract the 7 from the 8 you have 11?"

"OK, so we can be geeky," he conceded. "Numbers and their interesting patterns and combinations always intrigue us math types."

Susan Gilmore: 206-464-2054 or