‘Lucky 7’ believers are lining up


MIDDLESEX, Vt. (AP) – Eric Fifield doesn’t usually play the Pick 3. He will on Saturday, though.

That’s because July 7, 2007 – expressed as a number – is 07-07-07, a rare confluence of numbers that is expected to ramp up interest in would-be millionaires.

“I’ll spend a couple bucks on a 7-7-7,” said Fifield, 20, of Montpelier, buying lottery tickets Thursday at a Champlain Farms convenience store. He spends about $100 a week on lottery tickets, but favors Hog Mania and other games over the Pick 3.

To him and other lottery players, it’s a red-letter, or red-number, day.

“I don’t know if any one date has more appeal than another, but it’s the triples that are significant to the daily players, like 7-7-7 and 6-6-6,” said David Gale, executive director of the North American Association of State and Provincial Lotteries.

Lottery officials say many people – regular players and otherwise – will plunk down money in advance of Saturday’s drawings because of the unique appeal of the date and the lucky number 7.

“I’m pretty sure 7-7-7 and 7-7-0-7 will probably get sold out for this upcoming draw,” said Alan Yandow, executive director of the Vermont Lottery. Lotteries and their customers aren’t the only ones who’ve been eyeing the date.

At the Middlesex Country Store on Thursday, manager Diana Fusco said she’d seen no clamor for 7-7-7 or 7-7-07 tickets – yet.

“I don’t know that it’s dawned on anybody yet,” said Fusco, cooking hot dogs on a grill in front of the store. “More people play their birthday or their kids’ birthdays than the date. But I imagine it (7-7-7) will get maxed out.”