# Numerology No Middle Name

By | October 12, 2016

## 666 Numberphile

PETE WATTS: Well, the number666 is pretty famous, or I suppose you couldsay infamous. 666 is called the numberof the beast. And the reason that the number666 has become infamous is not just because it’s somekind of nice number. It has got a lot of interestingmathematical properties.

JAMES GRIME: Perhapsdisappointingly, mathematically 666 not that special. PETE WATTS: But it’s famousbecause of its use in the Bible, where it is thenumber of the beast. Let me read the relevantpassage. JAMES GRIME: The one thing thatI do know where it turns up is in the game of roulette.

So roulette here’s a roulette table. This is the Monte Carloroulette table. PETE WATTS: quot;Let him who hasunderstanding reckon the number of the beast, forit is a human number. Its number is 666.quot; JAMES GRIME: There’s an Americanroulette table as well, which is slightlydifferent.

The American table has a 0 anda 00, whereas the Monte Carlo roulette table justhas the one 0. PETE WATTS: The New Testamentthe Bible wasn’t written in English. This is just a translation. So in the original Greekmanuscripts, the number is actually written asthree letters. The Greeks didn’t have symbolsfor writing numbers.

They use letters instead. It’s the same as if in English,we had to use the letter A for one, the letterB for two, and so on. Greek is like this. It uses letters to representnumbers. Hebrew is like this. Letters are used torepresent numbers. And those are the two mainlanguages of the Bible.

JAMES GRIME: So all roulettetables, though, use the numbers 1 to 36. So here, the Monte Carloroulette table has 37 slots 0, 1, 2, 3, up to 36. PETE WATTS: So alpha, the firstletter of the Greek alphabet representsthe number one. Beta, the second letter,represents number two. Gamma, the third letter,represents number three.