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2020 will be the best year in a long time for those New Year's glasses

Finally, we have that "1" out of the way while trying to watch the ball drop.

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/ Source: TODAY
By Scott Stump

Having "2020 vision" makes this a vintage year for those novelty New Year's glasses.

After nine years of having to stare through a "1" in one eye as the ball drops or wearing glasses reconfigured into an especially goofy design to avoid that digit blocking the view, the new year is a chance to get back to the good old days of two ovals to see through.

People also appear to be more in the spirit for the glasses this year. Party Express, a Pennsylvania-based company that has been selling New Year's novelties to consumers and businesses for 119 years, has seen an increase in the amount of pairs it has sold this year.

Party Express has experienced an uptick in sales of New Year's glasses thanks to "2020 vision."Party Express

"Every year we move where the holes go and do our best," Party Express manager Mark Sullivan told TODAY. "From 2000 to 2009 was the easiest because there was no thought behind it.

"This year there has been an uptick because of '2020 vision,' plus you have the two holes to see through. It makes it fun."

However, some of the designs aren't giving New Year's revelers hope that the two zeroes actually fixed anything considering one of the holes is in a "2" on the glasses.

Sullivan said this is the most interest they have had in the glasses since 2000, when they were a smash hit thanks to the three zeroes plus the excitement about the turn of the millennium.

"New Year's (sales) as a whole have just been bigger this year with it also being a new decade and a lot of people having parties celebrating 'The Roaring '20s' by looking back," he said.

Richard Sclafani, 70, invented the novelty glasses in his Seattle apartment in 1990 with his friend and business partner, Pete Cicero, who died in 2015 from bladder cancer. He stopped selling them around 2010 after so many knockoff versions made it unprofitable to continue.

"I saw one pair in the store the other day, and I thought they looked good,'' Sclafani told TODAY. "The years I was making them from 1991 to 2009, we always had the two circles.

The 2020 glasses are still at least better than the ones from all those years in the '10s, like these ones from last year. Bloomberg / Bloomberg via Getty Images

"It's nice to see them still around, 30 years later. If it makes people smile, that's what they're intended to do, so I'm pretty happy."

The original idea was to make the glasses for 2000, but since it was so far away when they first came up with them in 1990, they tried them out with the see-through "9s" for the 1990s.

"The year 2000 was ridiculous,'' he said. "There were so many knockoffs I collected them, and put them in what I call the 'box of bad news.' I still had a good year in 2000 and managed to sell about half a million right out of my garage, but after that it started tapering off."

Sclafani doesn't have any grand plans for New Year's Eve on Tuesday because his son and grandchildren will be out of town. Like many people who will save the 2020 glasses as keepsakes, he has a box full of past ones in his house.

"I've got some left from every year that we did,'' he said. "I've seen a few of the 2020 ones, and some of them were really bad, but there was one that was just really nice, all glittery, and laid it out just right so it looked good."