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/ Source: TODAY
By Erica Chayes Wida

How many licks does it take to get to the center of a ... long-believed rumor from childhood?

Ever since Tootsie Pop was created in 1931, there has been widespread myth that wrappers which depicted a star shooting from the bow and arrow of a Native American man could get you a free Tootsie Pop.

But without modern conveniences such as the internet, most kids didn't go all Nancy Drew on the local five-and-dime to interrogate shop owners.

So, on and on the rumor went, a slightly unattainable promise of free candy tinged with hope for legions of lollipop-loving youngsters.

We hate to be the bearer of bad news but a Tootsie Roll Industries spokesperson confirmed to TODAY Food that the company has provided a clear message on its website for nearly a decade disproving the legend of the star. However, a recent BuzzFeed article has since brought this rumor back into the collective candy conscious of many avid readers.

"Unfortunately, we do not know how this rumor started and Tootsie Roll Industries has never actually honored this promotion," the message reads. "In fact, the shooting star appears on 1 in every 4 to 6 Tootsie Pop wrappers, just as frequent as the other images appear."

Dreams. Shattered.

"However, we do believe the star is a sign of good luck to come," they continued. Well, that's nice.

Now that kids (and people who used to be kids) are all on social media, the rumor has continued to swirl.

Maybe the rumor got started when one, kind sweetshop owner handed out freebies for the star, because some have reported actually scoring a free pop with their special wrapper.

Another said the rumor-starter deserves a slap in the face ... and also a handshake.

Still, one tweeter who clearly doesn't want to give up home speculated that it was the amount of wrappers with stars you had to collect for a freebie.

Of course, this isn't the only rumor surrounding iconic lollipops. Besides freebies, people continue to question how many licks it takes to get to that chewy chocolate center. There are even candy quizzes to test your knowledge on the subject.

And don't even get us started on the Dum Dums Mystery flavor.

Erica Chayes Wida is a New York City-area based journalist and food writer obsessed with culture, poetry and travel. Follow her work on Instagram and Contently.