Kirillov’s lucky number problem

Lucky Ticket Numbers of Kirillov’s lucky number problem

By Honey B Wackx.

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Lucky Ticket Numbers

I haven’t been able to spend much time looking for mathematics based superstitions based on simple numbers. Superstitions that have anything to do with luck or good luck. But here is one a reader has found who must have visited our site.

Here is the Russian Superstition:

A bus ticket has a six-digit number, and a ticket is said to be “lucky” if the sum of the first three digits equals the sum of the last three digits.

When checking the stats of Wish Good Luck site I noticed an incoming link referring to a math problem, or rather a Russian Superstition. I am not a mathematician and not too good in math so I am definitely not one to make a statement about this supposed superstition.

Since I never heard of the person who the superstition refers to or the actual superstition before, I thought I’d pass it along to my readers for further research or attempted solution.

During my short research trying to find the source of the superstition I checked all the search results in Google for the first three pages of Google results and a few more links on some of those result pages. Here are two references to Kirillov’s lucky number problem:

All the references to the superstition except one led lead to one site.

Here is a good write-up and comments on the “superstition”

Here is a nice pictorial takeoff of the superstition

Here is a different Lucky Number problem found researching Kirillov’s lucky number problem.


Is this a Real Superstition?

Now, I’m no Sherlock Holmes. But it almost seems from my checking 30 or more search results on this Russian superstition, all leading back to the same source, that possibly that’s the real source of the superstition. Whoops!

Upon second glance I noticed one of those search results did not go back to the original source. The one I was thinking was the original source. That search result was just posted two days ago. It seemed to be the subject of a blog post slightly over two years ago.

It’s an interesting superstition and a good one for math students but past my poor level of math. In algebra and calculus it was difficult for me since I rarely did my homework. I didn’t like remembering so many formulas. But for you math inclined readers try your hand solving this “superstition.” Do it before you click the links and see a likely solution.

I’d like to know if the solution proposed is the correct one. Solve this neat little math problem and leave a comment. I’m going to verify any answers submitted with a close friend who I consider a math guru. I want to see what she says. I’m assuming she will be able to come up with the correct answer – if there is one.

One final question: Does anyone know the origin of Kirillov’s lucky number problem and whether it is a superstition or not?

Anyone knowing any more Russian superstitions or simple number puzzles related to luck submit them to Wish Good Luck for possible addition to the site.

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Charles is a retired Programmer/Analyst, senior citizen. Owner of Visit his blog. Visit Travel Quiz Weekly and quiz yourself on travel destinations.

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