08/08/08: Your Lucky Day?

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Though today's date doesn't have quite the same symbolic weight as 06/06/06 — a number often considered evil and named in the Bible as the date the Antichrist would be revealed — many are nevertheless buzzing about 08/08/08's potential implications.

According to Kelly Xu of the Organization of Chinese Americans in Washington, D.C., the Chinese view eight as an enormously lucky number.

"When they apply for [a] phone number or [a] car registration, they want eight as the last number," she said, or they want multiple eight's in a row — and they're often willing to pay big bucks to secure good luck.

The International Herald Tribune reported in 2006 that a Hangzhou man was offering to sell his license plate of A88888 online for the equivalent of $100,000, and a regional airline in China reportedly paid about $300,000 to have 8888 8888 as their telephone number.

Chinese Olympics officials chose the eighth as the opening day of this year's Summer Games for its auspicious date.

Additionally, officials in Beijing, who normally experience an increase in weddings on August 8, are expecting over 9,000 couples are to tie the knot tomorrow — nearly double their usual amount.

"Oh my goodness, this is really a very, very lucky day," said Belle Lam of the New York Chinese Cultural Association.

Not only does the number sound similar to 'prosperity' in Cantonese, making the repetition of eights like "you won the lotto and got rich," said Lam, but the eighth falls one day after the "Chinese Valentine's Day" — the seventh day in the seventh lunar month.

But before you start buying lottery tickets today to test your luck, realize the number is not considered lucky in all cultures.

According to Prem Jyotish, an astrologer in Jackson Heights, N.Y., the number is actually unlucky in Indian numerology, and numerologist Niraj Mancchanda told the Press Trust of India that "many disasters have occurred on the eighth or on a date, the total of which comes to eight."

"The number eight is not a very auspicious number. It brings hardship and bad luck," Mancchanda said.

The Amazing Kreskin, a thought-reader and mentalist who has appeared on FOX News and CNN, believes the furor over numbers has more to do with people's longing for hope than anything else — especially in China.

"Numbers are so intrinsically engrained in their culture," said Kreskin, and the people there are "living with a cloud over them."

"[They] need this as a release" because of the repressed environment, he added.

People are especially drawn to eight because "the number has a circular quality to it," said Kreskin. "Eights are mystical and mankind is an incurably mystical race."

So will there be the same excitement over 09/09/09?

"I would predict we're going to see greater superstition in the next 14-18 months," said Kreskin.

As for whether he believes in the auspiciousness of today's date, he said "I'm not superstitious, but sometimes you need to play it safe."