Sandroyd’s Favourite Number
Thank you so much if you answered the favourite number survey. There were over 200 responses by pupils, staff and parents. Here are the results followed by some of your wonderful answers.
Pupils and staff (128 responses) Parents (93 responses)
Favourite number 4 Favourite number 7
2nd 7 2nd 8
3rd 8 3rd= 5 and 3
4th= 13, 3, 5, 10 5th 2
Sandroyd’s favourite number (2 surveys combined) …..7 with 23 votes
2nd place joint between 4 and 8 16 votes each
4th place joint between 3 and 5 13 votes each
(In the parents’ survey number 4 came 8th.)
The breadth of answers was fascinating and highlighted the fact that we all think about numbers in different ways and link them with different stages of our life.
Unsurprisingly, many of us associate a number with a happy event.
The date of the event is our favourite number or the number itself holds a special memory.
Birthdays made up 15% of the answers.
Apology in advance: For the parents’ response form I was not provided with the name of the parent next to the response which is why some of the wonderful responses are anonymous.
Here are some of my favourite reasons linked with happy events:
Mrs. Green (21) 21 was the number of the boat I used to sail and we won lots of races.
Mrs. Sommerville (15) 15 was the number of my house when I was a child and I was happy there.
Mrs. Stonton-Shirley (27) I used to live at house number 27. My first son was born on 27th January at 10.27am!
Mrs. Carlyle-Clarke (74) I won a prize in a raffle when I was young, I really wanted the prize! Theo McVeigh likes number 72 for the same reason!
Ivor Davies (4) Born on 04/04/04 at 4.04
Pia Zingg (2) Because whenever we play Game of Life I put my card on 2 and I spin 2 and win 100,000????
Mr. Coulson (23) It keeps on winning for me on a roulette table.
Many of the answers were connected to sport, either personally or linked with a favourite sports personality.
Mr.Irving (10) It is the number I used to play at rugby.
Kit Blomfield (40) Because I have that number for South Wilts Cricket team on my back.
Mr. Everett (22) The number on Jenson Button’s car when he won the world championship.
Mr.Blomfield (23) The number that Michael Jordan wore when he played for the Chicago Bulls.
Hugh Wilson (51) 5-1 was the score when Hearts beat Hibs in the cup final
Oscar Shepherd (1) because Arsenal are going to finish in that position. (Optimistic?!)
Many reasons were because of the properties of the numbers themselves. This was a popular category for the parents. I am sure we all have a favourite out of odd and even numbers, some of us may love prime numbers whilst others may have an intense dislike of them without possibly even knowing why. In the parents’ top 5, 4 of them are prime numbers.
The shape of the numbers affects some of us. My favourite answer in this category has to be for the number 8, the reason given was that it looks like 2 doughnuts!
Here are some answers given by parents commenting on shape:
8 – it’s symmetrical
8 – it’s symmetrical and feels good to write
11 – it’s symmetrical and streamline
8 – I like even numbers and 8 looks good too!
7 – I think it is the most attractive number to look at and write.
4 – I remember it as a happy time and I also like the shape of it when it is written in an open way – an L with a down stroke.
And here are answers commenting on general properties of number:
28 – it’s a perfect number (for those who don’t know what a perfect number is, its factors add up to the number itself)
28 = 1 + 2 + 4 + 7 + 14
Can you think of the perfect number between 1 and 10?
26 – it is the only number between a square and a cube. Do you know which two?
2 – it divides things in half.
3.141592654 (slightly cheating as number were meant to be integers!) It shows mathematically that the universe is basically irrational
0 – Because even though it is real, it only exists in our imagination.
7 – Cool prime number.
2 – First prime number.
Other reasons were connected to school days:
Locker numbers (own or siblings’) were popular, so too were class numbers and there was a prep school laundry number.
Of course, many of us associate numbers with being lucky or unlucky. Many people find that 5 brings them luck, as well as 7.
Responses mentioning luck:
8 – I spent some time living in Hong Kong and it’s a very lucky number there. ( 4 is considered unlucky in China )
5 – 5 in racing seems to be lucky.
7 – I’ve always liked the number 7 probably because I was born on May 17th and then, by chance, two out of our three children were born on the 27th of a month. Subconsciously, I think 7 has always felt like a good or lucky number to me.
19 – It is a lucky number for me and I like the numbers that add up to 10 when you take them apart.
13 – I have always found it lucky for me, especially when I used to complete on my horses.
Here is an answer which contains many of the categories we have discussed all rolled into one. Thank you!
8 – It is an even and solid number. No angles, no loose ends. Just the right amount for a team. It looks like it can bounce off, looks the same upside down. Tilt it on its side and it links what is before and after. 8 is the age of discovery and questions, where we discover that everything is possible if we try hard and don’t give up.
And in a similar vein:
6 – It is even, it is rounded, it is the best number to seat at a table, it is a single digit, it is my birth date, it is enough times to form a habit or break one.
Let’s look at our winning number 7 in a little more detail now.
The reasons given for choosing 7 covered all the categories that have already been discussed. Properties, shape, luck and a link to a happy event were all mentioned (as well as James Bond of course!) 5 responses were not able to provide a reason, just a gut feeling?
Where do we come across 7? Days of the week, notes in a musical scale, 7 dwarves! Can you think of any more examples? 7 is linked with a magical force. 3 is also seen as a magic number.
Alex Bellos, a journalist who writes for the Guardian, carried out the same survey and received over 40,000 replies from all over the world. And guess what ….7 was the favourite number. This link takes you to his results page and gives you the top 10 favourite numbers http://pages.bloomsbury.com/favouritenumber as well as a video called ‘Why We All Love 7’ It was having listened to Alex at a conference that I decided to carry out the same survey.
Interestingly, Alex’ top 4 numbers were 7, 3 , 8 and 4 which were all included in the pupils and parents’ top 5 answers. He found that multiples of 10 were unpopular, perhaps because they are used for rounding and therefore lose their own identity?
(Alex poses a Maths problem in the Guardian every other Monday if you enjoy problem solving and you can follow him on Twitter).
I wasn’t sure how to categorise these answers but I thoroughly enjoyed reading them and felt they should be included:
Alfie Baring – 8 because it’s gr8!
Eva Fadeeva – 14. I imagine it with a green colour and this colour is my favourite. My birthday is this date. This number is calm and kind because green colours are leaves on the trees and grass.
Mr. Speers – 3 is the magic number (song by Blind Melon?)
42 – Monty Python, the meaning of life.
7 – Len Goodman!
22 – Once on a beach in Key West, Florida a man approached me and a friend. He asked our names. I replied ‘Anna’. He said ‘Oh Anna Banana number 22’. He told me to open the book I was reading. I did this and I was on page 222, Chapter 22! Ever since I’ve been ‘Anna Banana 22’ and my lucky number has been 22. Whether it’s brought me luck who can tell!!
2 – Nice things come in pairs.
Arthur Ponte – 4 It’s my lucky number and it was the first number I said.
Alfie Miles – 7 Because James Bond is 007.
Thank you all for contributing to this survey. I have thoroughly enjoyed reading your wonderful answers and I hope that it highlights the fact to us all that we have an emotional connection with numbers. You may have thought this question was frivolous but people really do have very strong feelings about numbers.