Hardly a revelation -- 666 attracts bettors

June 07, 2006|By LAURA MCCANDLISH | LAURA MCCANDLISH,SUN REPORTER

Yesterday's date inspired a popular Pick 3 lottery combination: 666.

But not for long.

The Maryland State Lottery stopped selling midday and evening Pick 3 tickets with that combination late yesterday morning, according to Buddy W. Roogow, the lottery's director. The agency cuts off play when the state's liability on a payout reaches $7 million.

Other sold-out combinations? 066, 660, 6666, 6606, 6066 for the evening drawings. All were variations of June 6, 2006 - a date that represented a link to satanic references in the Bible's Book of Revelation.

"We sell out numbers every day," Roogow said. "Dates always sell big. Quads and trips always sell big, and many sell out."

Roogow said the lottery has a $7 million cap on Pick 3 and Pick 4 number combinations. For each combination, they can sell up to 14,000 one-dollar Pick 3 tickets, which earn the top prize of $500 for each exact one-dollar winning bet. Likewise, up to 1,400 tickets of every Pick 4 combination are sold, paying $5,000 for each one-dollar ticket with the exact numbers.

The big winner proved to be the State Lottery, as nary a 6 emerged in any of the day's Pick 3 and Pick 4 drawings. The day and night Pick 3 numbers were 345 and 189, respectively, while the Pick 4 numbers were 0574 and 0832.

But 666 has been drawn in the past, according to lottery spokeswoman Carol Everett - including three times last year, on Jan. 31, July 23, and Dec. 13.

A best-selling combination that's uniquely Maryland? 2131 for the Pick 4 game, Roogow said.

On the evening of Sept. 6, 1995, Cal Ripken Jr. played in his 2,131st consecutive game, breaking Lou Gehrig's record. Ripken ended The Streak on Sept. 20, 1998, when he voluntarily removed himself from the Orioles lineup after 2,632 straight games.

laura.mccandlish@baltsun.com

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