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Rather than wear No. 666, Kentucky high school athlete quits race

November 06, 2013|By Amy Hubbard
  • Ronald Reagan, like Codie Thacker, avoided the number 666.
Ronald Reagan, like Codie Thacker, avoided the number 666. (Associated Press )

Kentucky cross-country athlete Codie Thacker was told at a recent meet she had to wear bib number 666. So, she decided not to race.

And that gives her something in common with Ronald Reagan (see below).

Thacker told local NBC affiliate LEX 18 she had trained for Saturday's race for months.  But she could not bring herself to put on that number. She felt it put her relationship with God at risk.

Some background: The number 666 is the biblical mark of the beast.  In the book of Revelation, two beasts arise -- the first a seven-headed beast from the sea. It's this monster whose number must be imprinted on everyone's right hand or forehead.  

Revelation 13:18: "Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six."

The teenager and her coach asked that the number be changed, but race officials said no.  Later, a representative with the athletic association told LEX 18 if officials had known it was because of religion, they would have consented to the change.

There are plenty of people who avoid the number 666. There's even a phobia associated with it: hexakosioihexekontahexaphobia. Seriously. (Fear of the number 13 is triskaidekaphobia, and fear of numbers in general is arithmophobia.)

But you don't have to be phobic to want to distance yourself.  There was the guy named Ken who received a license plate in the mail: 666-KEN. He returned it. 

And the Los Angeles Times reported years ago about the Reagans changing their house number:

"When President Reagan left office, he and Nancy took up residence at 666 St. Cloud Road in Bel-Air but had the address changed to 668 to avoid the 'number of the beast.' "

Like stories about hexakosioihexekontahexaphobia? Follow me at @AmyTheHub


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