When driving, and especially at stoplights, I add up the digits in license plates I see. It is unusual to get one that sums > 50. 60+ is exceedingly rare. My wife and kids think this (one of many things that) makes me quite odd.

I work in downtown Chicago where there are thousands of taxis. I look at their numbers to see how close the registration numbers of any 2 are. Today I saw 2 that were 4 apart (1404 and 1408). Anything within 20 is pretty rare.

I also look for taxis with numbers of 1-100, or the same as years I have been alive, 1960-2010. Just saw 2003 over lunch.

So, anyone else take special notice of numbers you encounter all of the time?

We actually have a license plate game where you try to reduce the numbers to the smallest number possible only using addition & subtraction. So 29A7534 would equal 2.

It’s remarkably addictive. I find it hard to look at license plates now without doing it.

I do some of these things too: look for patterns in cash registers, song durations, etc. I add up numbers on license plates to a single digit or scan them for old addresses, phone numbers, etc.

I ran across Benford’s Law recently and you all might find it interesting.

Doesn’t that depend on how you perceive the numbers? For example, take 1644. It can either be 1+6+4+4=15 or 16+44=60. If I were playing this game, that’s what I’d do…

My Dad used to play license plate poker sometimes on long car trips when I was little, but I never cottoned onto it. I do notice “symmetrical” numbers (like my own license plate–as if I’d share that here!) or as another poster says, “number palindromes”. I might start adding plates up, though.

I also tend to notice numbers that have meaning for me (address, birthday etc), but I think everyone does that.

This reminds me of a French game show I used to watch called “Numbers and Letters”. One of the challenges was called “The count is right” - you are given certain numbers and through four arithmetic operations (subtraction, addition, division, multiplication) you try to come as close as possible to a target number.

Rules
[list=A][li]Take 6 numbers at randomfrom the following set: 1 through 10, 25, 50, 75, 100 (each number from 1 to10 can appear up to two times in your set of 6 - pretend you are drawing from a set of tiles like this: 1, 1, 2, 2, 3, 3, 4, 4, 5, 5, 6, 6, 7, 7, 8, 8, 9, 9, 10, 10, 25, 50, 75, 100)[/li][li]Pick a number at random between 100 and 999[/li][li]Using +, −, ×, ÷ and the numbers drawn in step A, try to get as close as possible to the number drawn in step C[/li][/list]

Sample challenge:
working numbers 9 75 8 3 8 2
target number 395

I sometime wish I could NOT notice the numbers. I remember going into a hotel gym where there were a hundred of so lockers for one to dump one’s gear. I spent 2-3 minutes deciding (prime? which prime? perfect number? square? cube? How do you pick among them?).

I also notice the change, but I no longer comment on it (unless it’s 10.66). Especially after that thread where the guy got all made because the checker didn’t laugh at his jokes.

Gee, I thought everybody KNEW that Wapner was on at 2pm!

I don’t play such high level games with license plates. I will look at the number, and see if they mathematically relate (ie: 561 = 5-6=1; or 743, which would be 7=4+3) If I took any more time to do “real” math, I think I would wreck my car!

I also am VERY obsessive with plate expiration dates. I will always comment to my husband about which car we passed, and how its plates expired THREE MONTHS AGO. I want to apply for a job with the police. I would drive in a unmarked car, and just cruise the mall, and Walmart lots, and write down the tags of the cars that are expired. A HUGE revenue boost would occur!!! HEck, I could even take cell phone photos of the expired plates for proof! My best one I found was a car who’s plates were a YEAR past the expiration date.

I tend to notice numeric patterns and such - for example, I had a valet claim ticket which was #16383, and a phone number that ended in 1024.

Also, at my work we get quarterly bonuses, and our payday is approx. the 27th of the month. We used to have an air freshener in the restroom that counted down the days to every other quarterly bonus: it had a display on the front indicating (I believe) how many days till it needed to be replaced, and each refill lasted 60 days. It stayed synced up pretty well, too, because the maintenance guy was occasionally a day or two late replacing the cartridge. I pointed this out to a few of my coworkers, and they thought I was nuts.

Yeah, I imagine it could be done any number of ways. I simply add up the single digits. ISTM that using the method you suggest, you could simply say the original number 1644 is the highest “sum.”

I’ve seen less than 5 >60s in some 10+ years. There can’t be too many of them, with the max (7 9s) being 63, and a single 4 taking you below 60. When I recently got plates for my new car (62 Corvair) I was tempted to ask for personalized plates using all 8s and 9s, but personalized plates only allowed (IIRC) 6 numbers. So I went with EDS 62.

Since I’ve changed to looking for high sums (using my method) I’m pretty much hawking for bunches of 9s, 8s and 7s. More than a couple of 1s through 4s is pretty much guaranteed to keep it below 50.

Numbers ruined my life in school. I’ve only passed one math class in my life, basic bonehead arithmetic. To this day I count on my fingers. You can have your precious numbers, I flee from numbers. Except “3”. I like three.