"Lost" Numbers Lose Millions

Would-be Hurleys play "cursed" Lost numbers for Powerball drawing; digits don't come through

By Gina Serpe Oct 20, 2005 8:20 PMTags

Winning the lottery may have caused nothing but trouble for Lost's Hurley, but hordes of Powerball players were willing to take their chances.

Hundreds of lotto players in the multi-state drawing selected the Emmy-winning show's cursed digits--4, 8, 15, 16, 23 and 42--in the $340 million drawing Wednesday.

Unfortunately--or maybe fortunately, considering the damage they've done--the Lost numbers lost.

Eva Robelia, spokeswoman for the Wisconsin Lottery, says more than 840 people across five states played the TV-inspired numbers, including 266 hopeful Hurleys in New Hampshire.

"A lot of people are playing those numbers," Robelia told the Green Bay Press-Gazette. "There may be a couple of hundred in Wisconsin alone." Powerball is played in 27 states, plus the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Lost is the third-most watched show on television this season, averaging nearly 23 million viewers an episode.

The infamous digits first appeared on the ABC hit last season, when Jorge Garcia's Hugo "Hurley" Reyes used them to win the lottery. That is when his luck ran out.

The mysterious figures caused him nothing but grief--his grandfather died, his mother broke her ankle, their new house burnt down and he ultimately wound up on a certain doomed airliner. The digits subsequently turned up in other places, including the infamous hatch. This season, it was revealed that the sequence has to be entered into a computer every 108 minutes--or else the world will supposedly end.

Evidently, it was a fate gamblers were willing to deal with. But the crush of Lost fans would have proven incredibly unlucky if the numbers came up. Because so many had the same digits, the multimillion dollar jackpot would have been whittled down to just a few thousand bucks apiece.

Of course, the Lost numbers proved to be cursed in a different way--nobody who played them won. For the record the winning numbers were: 7, 21, 43, 44, 49 and 29.

According to lottery officials, the lone golden was sold in Jacksonville, Oregon, and the winner has yet to step forward and claim the hefty sum--roughly $110 million after taxes. The winnings mark the largest prize pool in the game's history and the second-largest haul in U.S. history.

"We advise them to get their 15 minutes of fame out of the way at a press conference, but it's up to the winners to decide what to do," Powerball spokesman Chuck Baumann said.

And our advice to the winner: Avoid uncharted islands with locked hatches. Just in case.