LOS ANGELES — When Mega Millions conducted its lottery drawing on Tuesday night, millions of “Lost” fans wondered: Haven't we seen those numbers before?
On the television show, the character Hugo “Hurley” Reyes played the numbers 4, 8, 15, 16, 23 and 42 and won the $114 million jackpot. In real life, the lotto's selections for its $355 million prize — 4, 8, 15, 25, 47 and the crucial “Mega ball,” 42 — included four of Hurley's numbers. According to the Mega Millions website, which reported receiving “unprecedented traffic” after the drawing, 41,763 people matched those four numbers, earning $150 apiece.
Of course, there's no way to tell just how many of those people were playing all of Hurley's numbers. But “Lost” executive producer Damon Lindelof celebrated by tweeting his own figures. “9,078 people played Hurley's numbers in the MegaMillions tonight, each winning $150,” he wrote, “#THATSSORAVEN.”
Jorge Garcia, the actor who played Hurley on the show, wasn't quite feeling that same warm-fuzzy vibe. “When will you people learn?” he wrote on his blog. “The numbers are bad!” At least they were for Hurley: “Lost” followers will remember that, shortly after claiming his bounty from the fictional “Mega Lotto Jackpot,” Hurley discovered that his luck was cursed. His house soon burned down, and he was mistaken for a drug dealer by the police.
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Already, Garcia's girlfriend, Bethany Leigh Shady, reported that he was facing a few misfortunes of his own. “A tabloid news show just showed up at our FRONT DOOR hoping to get an intvw with Jorge about last night's lotto #s,” she tweeted. “Is this really our life?”
The numbers were a major recurring theme on “Lost,” which ended last year after six seasons. They appeared again and again in the lives of several characters, showing up in major plotlines (the numbers needed to be entered into a computer to keep the island safe) and background ambience (in one scene, athletes jogged by with the numbers on their jerseys), causing fans to obsess about their significance.
Toward the end of the series, it was revealed that Jacob, a mysterious godlike figure on the island, had assigned the numbers to the chosen people he'd hoped to lure to the island. The castaways' names corresponded to different numbers: Locke was 4, Hurley was 8, Sawyer was 15, Sayid was 16, Jack was 23, and one of the Kwons was 42.
Online, die-hard conspiracy theorists insist the numbers are cursed. On Twitter, fans pointed out that the winning “Lost” numbers were chosen during a week when thousands of fish died and birds fell from the Arkansas sky.
Is there some kind of metaphysical significance behind the Mega Millions picks? Carlton Cuse, another executive producer on the show, didn't want to get into it. “I'm sure there is a larger, mystical reason this happened,” he tweeted, “but in this case if it never gets explained, don't blame me or Damon.”