Okay, it’s time for a confession: I’ve become a huge fan of the Bravo reality show “Million Dollar Listing.” I’m not quite sure what it is exactly about the show that so fascinates me—perhaps it’s the weekly dose of seeing some of the most garishly hideous properties in Los Angeles being sold for absolutely insane prices (remember, folks, this is all earthquake and brushfire country), or perhaps it’s just to witness the over-the-top behavior of the brash young realtors Madison Hildebrand, Josh Flagg, and the one whose name I can’t remember but whose head resembles a mushroom. Whatever it is, the show continues to mesmerize me week after week.
Last week’s episode featured an Israeli couple who were desperate to buy a Beverly Hills McMansion, and every time they made an offer on the property, the figure would end with the numerals “126.” For instance, they would initially bid $6,300,126 for the property. “Don’t forget the 126,” the buyer reminded the eager young broker Josh Flagg, who was about to submit the offer at an even $6.3 million. “Always use the 126.”
This of course had me wondering what the significance of 126 was. Was this purely the couple’s personal lucky number, or was there more to it? A bit of research led to the discovery that 126 is indeed a lucky number for the Jewish people because of chai. Chai is a Hebrew word which means “living,” and is related to chaim, the term for “life.” In Hebrew, each letter is assigned a numerical value, and the numerical value of chai is 18. Hence, 18 is a lucky number in Judaism, and many Jews give gifts of money, or, in this case, the purchase price of a house, in multiples of 18 for good luck. 7 x 18 = 126. Which brings us back to the property featured on “Million Dollar Listing.” After yet another round of negotiations, the couple finally won the house for $5.8 million. $5,800,126, to be fortuitously precise.