And The World's Favorite Number Is . . .
Everyone always talks about the dreaded number 13 and the lengths millions of people go through, to avoid it. However nobody has ever bothered to ask if there was a common number that thousands loved enough, to call it their favorite. But now, thanks to London-based author Alex Bellos, it appears that such a number does indeed exist and it is . . . drum roll please . . . the one and only, number seven!
Bellos who has written numerous books about mathematics and spends a large amount of time talking about the subject at schools, universities, festivals and corporate events, is always quizzed about his favorite number. Though the question initially annoyed him, he soon realized that it was because many people feel an emotional attachment to numbers.
Curious to see if that was indeed the case, Bellos decided to set up an online poll and ask the people all over the world to pick a number and then choose from one of three options - like it, love it or am unmoved by it. To his surprise, about 44,000 people took the voluntary online survey. This was enough data for the author to parse through and reach some conclusions. Here is what he found out :
Though almost every number was selected, it was 7 that appeared to be the most popular - 4,000 or 10% of the people that took the survey, picked it as their favorite number. Coincidence? Alex thinks not. He believes that 7 is the natural choice for many people for a number of reasons. There is the cultural significance as evidenced by the seven ancient wonders of the world, seven days in a week, seven deadly sins, seven circles of the universe and last but not least, seven basic musical notes.
If that is not convincing enough, Alex also points out the importance of the number in various religions - In Buddhism, seven is the number of ascent and the number of steps Buddha took, as soon as he was born. In Christianity, God is represented by the seventh ray in the center of six rays of creation
And while these are all significant, Alex thinks that the biggest reason seven is popular is because of its unique numerical properties. It is the only number between 1 and 10 that cannot be multiplied or divided with any other number within that group - For example, multiply 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 by two and the answer can be found within the group. Though 6, 8 and 10 cannot claim the same, they can be divided by two, while 9 can be divided by 3! Seven is the only number that stands untouchable!
The other numbers that rounded the top ten favorite list in order of popularity are - 3,8,4,5,13 (surprise!), 9, 6,2 & 11. As for the least popular number? According to Alex, that honor goes to 110, the lowest whole number that received absolutely no votes!
Of course, we can only be convinced that Bello's research is correct, if DOGOnews readers agree with it - So be sure to cast a vote (or two) for your favorite number!
Resources: the guardian.co.uk, dailymail.co.uk
Reading Comprehension (3 questions)
- Why did Bellos decide to conduct a poll?
- What did he ask people to do?