This is the day, 7-7-77, when hunch, headline or dateline players go to the bank and withdraw their savings of the last 100 years in order to try to get rich.
The digit 7 is going to take a tremendous pounding in gambling circles during this 24-hour period at the nation's race tracks, in casinos and particularly, in state lotteries.
Locally, Daytime Dreams and Hand Spin are about to enjoy unaccustomed popularity in Bowie's daily-double wagering. They form the 7-7 combination, Clem Florio, The Washington Post's hippie handicapper, accords both nags a good chance of winning.
"Daytime Dreams is a first-time starter who looks O.K. against these maidens," Florio said, "and Hand Spin, or anything else, can't be eliminated in the second race, in what probably the worst group in horses we've seen at this meeting."
The people who operate the Maryland State Lottery may have to shut off action early today on the 777 three-digit number.
"The only thing that can save us is that 777 won fairly recently, on May 21," a lottery spokesman declared. "Many players won't want to go back on the same number again so soon, hunch or no hunch. But this is the sort of thing that turns a lot of people on."
"Well, when Carter got 272 electoral votes, that was the big play the next day, Nov. 3. On Sept. 29, after the Norton-Ali weigh-in, the big play was on 216 because Ali said he weighed 217 while the scale read 216.The 216 hit. We paid out 117 per cent."
Television also can have a profound effect on the lottery.
"We shut down at 4:50 on Dec. 6 after 'Delvecchio' had a program vitally concerned with Willie Mays' lifetime batting average of .302," the lottery spokesman said. "'Baretta' affected us twice, on Dec. 2 and the rerun March 23, when a woman in the story was shown playing 652 and 113. We shut off at 4 o'clock the next day but 113 hit and caused us our biggest payout, 169 per cent.
Friday the 13th always attract big plays, such as in last August and May. Neither the 813 nor 513 came up a winner, however.
Finally, there was the tragic circumstance that led to extremely heavy action on 747 and 580 the day after two large jets collided in the Canary Islands. The first number identified the planes: and, the second, the death toll.
Jim Henderson, a young man from Harrisburgh, Pa., struck it rich in advance of today's 7-7-77. He spent $5,000 to have $50,000 cemmemorative medallions struck for the occasion and he sold them all, he says, to seven race tracks ranging from Brandywine Raceway near Wilmington, Del., to Greyhound Park near Phoenix, Ariz.
"It was a good gimmick," Henderson said. "I still have hundreds of individual orders to fill for coin collectors all over the world. Unfortunately, it's a long wait until I can repeat the offer. The next promotion, I guess, will be Nov. 11, 2011.,"
When, of course, the day's dynamic digits will be 11-11-1.