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Mathematicians and geeks celebrate rare palindrome day

By Associated Press Reporter

Mathematicians and geeks everywhere celebrated a rare occurrence on Sunday - 02/02/2020 - a kind of eight-digit palindrome that has not happened for more than 900 years.

A palindrome is any sequence, phrase or word that reads the same backwards as forwards.

And 02/02/2020 is considered a "universal palindrome" because it reads the same whether written as Month/Day/Year as the United States does, or Day/Month/Year as many other countries do.

The last universal palindrome occurred on 11/11/1111.

The next one will not come until 12/12/2121.

"It's possible to live your entire life without ever having gone through a universal palindrome, so it's pretty cool to have one in your lifetime," said Heather Pierce, a mathematics lecturer at Emmanuel College in Boston.

The date was cause for celebration on Twitter, where even those who do not specialise in maths got a kick out of the rare global palindrome.

"Another one won't happen for 101 years, so make the most of this one! " tweeted actor Mark Hamill, of Star Wars fame.

The Royal Wedding Chapel in Las Vegas was hoping the date would have special meaning for many couples.

The chapel noted in its advertising that couples who marry on 02/02/2020 would have their two-year anniversaries on 02/02/2022.

"Two being the ultimate symbolic number representing you and your spouse to be," it added.