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The mysterious numbers of ‘Lost’

Is it a combination? Coordinates? Readers speculate
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On the latest episode of ABC's plane-crash drama, "Lost," fan favorite Hurley (real name: Hugo Reyes) revealed a sequence of mysterious numbers (4 8 15 16 23 42). After getting the numbers from a mental patient, the large guy used them to play the lottery, winning $156 million.

But things started to go wrong even at the ceremony where Hurley's award was announced. His beloved grandfather toppled over dead during the presentation itself. Later, his sister-in-law left Hurley's brother, who had to move back home. He bought his mother a multi-million dollar home, but when he took her to see it, she broke her ankle and Hurley himself was arrested in a case of mistaken identity (the LAPD thought he was a drug dealer, perhaps a sly poke at actor Jorge Garcia's previous role as one on "Curb Your Enthusiasm").

Hurley sought out the mental patient, Lenny, who'd told him the numbers. Lenny couldn't (or wouldn't) reveal their source, but a persistent Hurley tracked down the wife of a man who had served in the military with Lenny years ago. She revealed that the two men had heard the numbers on a transmission from somewhere in the Pacific, and that the same curse that had followed Hurley had hit her family as well.

Back on the island, Hurley learned from Frenchwoman Danielle Rousseau that her boat had originally come to the island following the transmission of the numbers. And in the final scene, viewers saw those same numbers carved into something solid and concrete -- the mysterious bunker that Locke discovered, perhaps?

Fans have been buzzing about the numbers since then. It didn't escape their notice that the doomed plane's flight number was part of the numbers, nor that one of the numbers, 42, is the ultimate answer to life, the universe, and everything, according to author Douglas Adams.

Here are some of your theories about the numbers as a whole:

“I think the numbers are the code to the portal to hell. I kept expecting them to be all sixes, actually. I think the religious connotations of this show should not be overlooked in all of the the juicy character work.”  —DuAnn

“I think that the numbers are actually a location, lattitude and longitude. Perhaps the Bermuda triangle or something worse.”    —Mark

SPACESHIP?“The numbers on the metal encasement they showed sunk in the ground, reminds me of a Stephen King Novel, “The Tommyknockers”, spaceship in the ground?  Surely it will not be that!  This show is keeping me on the edge of my seat  and I hope they don’t pull the alien thing on us!”      —Mary

“I was glad to see Hurley’s background finally shown to us, though I am curious as to WHY he was in the hospital in the first place. I think that the numbers are a combination to open the portal that Locke & Boone found and when they open it they will find more than they bargained for! But can’t wait till they do.”    —Melissa

“I think the numbers were the serial numbers of a ship or plane that crashed many years ago and the numbers are evil now because everyone on that ship or plane died.”  —K

“I think the numbers come off a ship, of some kind, and that’s where these (yet to be discovered people are).”    —Birdi

“It’s not radiation -- it’s NANO-TECHNOLOGY. The black rock near the radio tower is a nanite hive. The nanite or nano-bots ride the carrier wave of the radio transmitter. It’s a weak signal, so they can’t go very far. The ano bots repaired locke’s paralysis, and also gave “Ethan Rom” great strength and seeming indestructibility. The nano-tech could also make a dead man appear to walk again. And could also make the “monster” manifest at certain times. Possibility exists that the nano-tech “virus” could be thought controlled. The bunker that Locke had uncovered with the numbers : I stick by the idea that this is an observation or camera bunker of some sort. The numbers are perhaps a project number. Bottom line:  A government experiment out of control.”    —Jim

GAMBLING TIME“How many people do you think are going to try those numbers this week on the lotteries?”  —Ann