Wednesday, April 9, 2014
From Seinfeld to Alex Bellos
Apparently George Costanza was onto something…:
"1" is perhaps the loneliest number, and "110," according to Alex Bellos, the least loved, but his research pinpoints "7" as the public's favorite number:
ADDENDUM (I'll just pass along a few more points from the article):
Bellos admits it wasn't necessarily a rigorous or fair statistical sampling, but nonetheless over 30,000 respondents took part. A few interesting tidbits:
8 of the top 10 favorite numbers are single digits, the other two slots taken by 11 and 13 (but all numbers from 1 to 100 were chosen at least once). I was surprised that 13 came out as high as sixth place, but perhaps that has something to do with Taylor Swift's choosing it as her well-publicized favorite number. Numbers ending in either 0 or 5 (except for 5 itself) were particularly avoided as favorites. Bellos notes that 7 is unique in many ways and that probably accounts for its popularity.
This material all comes from Alex's new book, "Alex Through the Looking-Glass," (out in the UK, but not available until June in the US, and then under the title "The Grapes of Math").