Lucky Number 13 Arrives in Times Square

Category: Media & Culture / Dec 19, 2012 2:09PM EDT
A seven-foot (2.1 meters) tall number "13" arrived in Times Square in New York on Wednesday (December 19), 13 days ahead of the New Year's Eve lighting ceremony when the famous crystal ball will drop to ring in the new year. The new numerals are fitted with custom designed Philips LED light bulbs that will save a lot of energy and maintenance costs, according to Jeffrey Strauss, one of the co-producers of the ceremonial lighting event. "There are actually 529 LED bulbs in that 2013 sign that lights up on Times Square. And it actually only takes nine Watts of energy to make that happen for each light bulb, which is a big energy savings from the previous bulbs that were 40 Watts," he told Reuters. The numeral "2" contains 145 bulbs, "0" contains 164 bulbs, the numeral "1" contains 72 bulbs and the numeral "3" contains 148 bulbs. The new lights will be 78 percent more energy efficient than the previous halogen bulbs. While the number "13" is an infamous unlucky number, Strauss said that being part of the ball drop ceremony will turn its fortune. "The 13 itself is such a symbol of the superstitious luck, bad luck, good luck kind of thing. And actually to get the 13 up there with the joy of New Year's Eve I think it really changes that whole spirit of 13. We're looking forward to a new year, and we are all looking forward to 13, 2013. And it starts today," he said. The giant "13" was put next to a table with 13 lucky charms from different cultures for extra luck. It will remain at the Times Square Museum until December 26th, after which it will be installed atop One Times Square to complete the "2013" sign.