ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. - With apologies to Clint Eastwood's Dirty Harry, this Saturday you've got to ask yourself one question: "Do I feel lucky?"
Lots of people do, for one simple reason. Saturday will be July 7, 2007, or 7-7-07. In numerological terms, that's about as big as it gets for the superstitious.
People are booking gambling junkets, casinos are offering "7"-themed promotions, and about three times the normal number of couples plan to get married that day, including Eva Longoria and basketball player boyfriend Tony Parker.
Nearly 100 couples will tie the knot atop roller coasters or inside revolving teacups at amusement parks at 7 that morning, a California yogi plans to achieve massive harmony through gong meditation at 7 that night, and Christians will gather in a Tennessee football stadium to pray on a day that has good Biblical implications for many.
Experts are quick to point out that Saturday is no more or less likely to be lucky than any other day. But try telling that to Allen Windrim, a 20-something entrepreneur from Philadelphia who owns a real estate management firm, a collection agency and a construction company.
"Hopefully I can get all my vacancies filled that day, all my collection cases settled without going to court, and get seven jobs for the construction company worth seventy-thousand each," he said.
"And then I'll take all that money and put it on Number Seven," he said. "I'm definitely in Atlantic City that day."
Casinos across the country are rolling heavy doses of sevens to attract superstitious gamblers, everything from $7 drink specials to luxury watches selling for $777. The Tropicana Casino and Resort in Atlantic City is offering a $7,777 package that includes a bi-level suite, two tickets to a show and the spa, and dining and shopping credits.
Craps players — among the most superstitious gamblers — have been buzzing for weeks about Lucky 7 Day, said Mario DiGuiseppe, the Tropicana's vice president of casino operations.
Asked if he believes in luck or superstition, DiGuiseppe responded with the certainty of one who knows that the odds always favor the house.
"I believe in math," he said with a chuckle.
Math is no obstacle for William Mobley of Philadelphia, who plans to be in Atlantic City on Saturday.
"I got a feeling about that day," he said. "I'll win over $700. Everything will go people's way that day. At least hopefully mine."
Gambles of a different sort will take couples down the aisle. Kathleen Murray, deputy editor of The Knot — http://www.theknot.com/ — said 38,000 of the company's members are getting married that day, up from the normal 12,000 for a Saturday in July.
"This is a true phenomenon," she said. "I've never seen anything like this before. Seven has always been considered the luckiest number, and with three sevens in a row brides and grooms feel they're hitting the jackpot that day."
One of them is Jennifer Dybas, 27, of Channahom, Ill., whose fiancee, Jeff Michalek, 34, is a fanatical poker player. Their wedding theme: Lucky In Love.
"We're giving out instant lottery tickets as favors, and we have little chocolate poker chips with `777 — Lucky In Love' written on them," she said. "Our cake has dice on top and a roulette wheel on the bottom, and the king and queen of hearts on it."
"We got the last ballroom at the country club, the last DJ available at the place we went to, and the last photographer at the photo studio we wanted," she said. "So the luck is starting already."
Other brides chose the day for a more practical reason. "Some brides say their husbands will have no excuse to ever forget their anniversary this way," Murray said.
The Six Flags amusement park chain is hosting seven wedding receptions at 7 a.m. at each of its 12 U.S. facilities. They're calling the event "Thrilled Ever After."
The Ritz Carlton Hotel's Central Park location in New York is offering a July 7 wedding package with a reception for 77, a seven-tier wedding cake, seven Tiffany diamonds for the bride, and a seven-night honeymoon at any Ritz in the world for $77,777.
The day has big noncommercial potential as well. Harijiwan, a yoga instructor in Santa Monica, Calif., who uses only one name, plans a gong meditation course at 7 p.m.
"The numerology on this day — 7-7-07 — is phenomenal," he wrote on his Web site. "Seven represents the aura. Three sevens equals 21 (2+13). Three represents the positive mind. Add the 7 p.m. hour and you have four sevens, which equals 28 (2+810). Ten is the radiant body."
Christians will gather in the Nashville football stadium where the Tennessee Titans play to pray and fast on the 7th.
"The number is significant in the Bible because seven represents a covenant," said Julia Richardson, a spokeswoman for the event, titled The Call. "We feel we want to make a covenant with the Lord to pursue him. Whether it's 1,000 people or 100,000 people, we feel we can bring about a change through prayer and fasting."
Not everyone is greeting the date with enthusiasm. July 7 is the second anniversary of the London terrorist bombings that killed 52 people, and Great Britain has been at high states of readiness since an attack on the Glasgow airport and foiled car bombings at Picadilly Circus within the last week.
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