Metro

Two straight months with a Friday the 13th? It’s not just bad luck

Not again.

Not again.

Triskaidekaphobics, your luck has dried up.

People who fear the number 13 are forced to endure three months in 2015 where Friday falls on what’s considered by many to be an ominous day.

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This year, the 13th fell on a Friday in February, and will occur again this month.

We won’t have consecutive months with a Friday the 13th for another 11 years. And what’s worse, we’re getting another one in November.

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“This whole year is kind of weird for some people, but it’s cool to me,” said Thomas Fernsler, a math specialist at the University of Delaware who earned the moniker “Dr. 13” for his vast knowledge of the number.

Fernsler’s research, which shies away from the bad luck, black cats, and horror flicks associated with Friday the 13th, focuses on the mathematical angles and patterns. He started the work in 1987, when he picked up a calendar and happened to notice the day would happen three times that year.

“I looked at a calendar and said, ‘gee, that seems like a lot.’ And it actually is,” he said.

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From there, he tracked the date — and the number — almost constantly.

“Now I get to talk about connections between history, politics, and famous and infamous people and events” and the number 13, he said.

Fernsler said every year has at least one Friday the 13th.

If they fall in May, June, or August, in a given year, that’s the only time it will happen that year.

If Friday the 13th happens in September, another will happen in December, he said, because those months have the same date patterns.

February and March always have the same date patterns in a non-leap year, so the 13th will fall on back-to-back Fridays, with November trailing behind. The last time this happened was in 2009, but we’ll have a longer reprieve before the next occurrence.

“Next time we are going to see this is in 2026,” Fernsler said.

Steve Annear can be reached at steve.annear@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @steveannear.
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