Tennesseans bet on 12-12-12 to be their lucky day

9:25 AM, Dec 12, 2012   |    comments
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By Heidi Hall, The Tennessean

Beaming couples and their wedding guests typically pack The Chapel on Saturdays. Fridays can be busy, too, because owner Jane Billingsley offers a discount.

But she just can't beat what a date like 12-12-12 will do for business on a Wednesday.

Nine couples, one after the other, will wed at her event space off Briley Parkway, tapping into what they consider a particularly lucky day. The first time something like that happened was 7-7-07, said Billingsley, who opened her business 22 years ago.

"The one booked for 12 o'clock on 12-12-12 is thrilled," she said. "I'm kind of getting excited about it. I expect more calls. You can get your license the same day and come right over here and get married."

Throughout the country, people are hoping this once-in-a-lifetime date brings good fortune for everything from marriage to gambling - which can be kind of the same thing.

Erin Mahoney's parents have been thinking about today's special birthday since she was born on Dec. 12, 2000, at Baptist Hospital.

Yes, that means she'll be 12 on 12-12-12.

"I'm just going to be savoring it, having fun with my family - we're going to eat ice cream and stuff," said Erin, a sixth-grader at Woodland Middle in Brentwood. "The kids at school think that it's really cool. And I guess some of them are probably jealous."

Her mother, Carol Anne Mahoney, said she's long been interested in her family's unusual birthdates. Erin's great grandmother was born in 1900, her grandmother in 1940 and her mother in 1960.

"We have been talking about it a lot," Carol Anne Mahoney said. "Anything you can use for a good excuse to do a math problem."

But while she wants Erin to have fun on her birthday, she can't have too much fun.

"It's a school night," she said.

Casinos nationwide are offering 12-12-12 specials. Powerball ticket sales are ramping up locally - clerk Casey Owens at Discount Tobacco Shoppe on Lebanon Pike said he expects the special date and the approaching holidays to drive a crowd of last-minute buyers, despite the relatively low estimated $50 million jackpot.

Dec. 12, 2012, may be astrologically lucky, but not for the reason most people would assume, said Gale Carrier, a Donelson psychic.

12-12-12 adds up to 9, which is a good number in astrology, she said. But serious astrologers must add up 12-12-2012, which comes to 11 - and that's a master number, a great day for presidents to be born, Carrier said.

"If you have a master number, there's a destiny in your life," she said. "You've been marked with something better. You have people who become movers and shakers in society. You might have a sense of a need to work hard for your fellow man."

But even those who reject astrology may be interested in 12 for its biblical significance.

Twelve tribes of Israel. Twelve apostles. Twelve squared to represent God's number of those chosen to rule.

The number symbolizes God's people, said Terry Briley, an Old Testament and Revelation scholar at Lipscomb University in Nashville.

Revelation's description of New Jerusalem is full of 12s, he pointed out: 12 gates guarded by 12 angels, 12 foundations for the wall of the city, multiples of 12 for some of the other measurements.

The bad news: Nothing in the Bible says buy a lottery ticket today.

"There's nothing to suggest that, in some sort of human calendar, the number 12 would be a good omen," Briley said. "I always feel like I'm throwing cold water on people getting excited. I believe there are things to get excited about."

But not this.

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