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Hampstead sixth-grader turns 12 on 12-12-12

Heyman
Heyman (Carroll County Times)

HAMPSTEAD - In some ways, Jessica Heyman's birthday means business as usual.

She still has to wake up early, go to school and do her homework.

But there is a statistical oddity this year, one that will make her birthday unlike any other in her lifetime. Jessica is turning 12 today on 12-12-12.

For the last time this century, today's date features the same number three times. Only three days each century have the same day, month and year without having to use a zero, such as 9-9-09.

The next triple date is 98 years from now on Oct. 10, 2110.

"It's special because it's all 12s," said Jessica, a sixth-grader at Shiloh Middle School at Hampstead, regarding her birthday. "Not many people get to have a repetitive birthday, so it's unique."

Thanks to her birthday, 12 is one of Jessica's favorite numbers. She wanted to wear 12 as her number in soccer this year. Alas, the jersey number wasn't available in her size.

Jessica was born exactly 12 days before her Christmas Eve due date, much to the delight of her mother Anne, who didn't want her child's birthday to coincide with the holiday.

"I wanted her friends to be able to come to her parties," she said.

Jessica's already had one party with her friends. She'll have a special dinner with her parents tonight and another get-together this weekend with her grandparents.

She's been telling friends and family about the rarity of 12-12-12. The oddity was enough for Anne to try purchasing a Maryland Lottery Pick 4 ticket with the numbers 1212 on the card.

Turns out that was more difficult than she expected.

Repeat numbers like 1212 are popular plays in the Maryland lottery no matter what. And it's been especially in demand this week with 12-12-12 looming.

Popular Pick 3 and Pick 4 combinations often sell out, Maryland State Lottery spokeswoman Erica Palmisano said.

The 1212 number is sold out for today and has been since Dec. 7. Tickets for Pick 4 go on sale a week in advance.

The Maryland Lottery limits certain popular numbers to protect itself in case one of those numbers happened to win.

"Once we reach a certain liability, we stop selling," she wrote in a press release.

Anne decided to play the Pick 4 on a different day with the matching numbers. She rarely plays the lottery, but figured the statistical uniqueness involving her daughter's birthday was worth a shot.

For Jessica, today is just one of 180 scheduled school days at Shiloh Middle this year. But it is still her birthday, one with a unique date.

"This is the last repetitive date of the century," she said. "It's just cool."

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