November 11, 2011

As the 11s all line up, folks hope for luck

The date seemed auspicious for births, marriages and gambling.

Rants, raves, reviews and resources for Dallas-Fort Worth parents

The stars aligned all over Tarrant County for 11-11-11.

Marriages were sealed with a kiss at 11:11 a.m. at the old Tarrant County Courthouse.

Baby Nehemiah Nix was born in Room 111 of Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Fort Worth after his mom spent 11 weeks on bed rest.

Twins Audrey and Jillian Lemons of Eagle Mountain Lake celebrated their 11th birthday.

Lotto tickets sold at a brisk pace at 7-Eleven, and Texans crossed the Red River for a shot at $11,000 in the Riverwind Casino in Oklahoma.

North Texans joined celebrators worldwide in making the most of a cosmic alignment that some believed could bring luck and happiness.

Happiness in Room 111

Rachel Nix said a little prayer before bedtime Thursday that her son would be born on 11-11-11, and it was one of the first things that popped into her head when she awoke in labor at 3 a.m.

"I thought of it almost immediately -- 'Oh my goodness, he's going to have a cool birthday,'" said Nix, 27, of Saginaw.

Nehemiah Asa James Nix -- or Nemo, as they suspect he may be called -- was the ninth baby born at Texas Health Harris Methodist by late afternoon, and six more were on the way, hospital spokeswoman Megan Brooks said.

He's the 11th grandchild of Rachel Nix's father and the fourth child of Rachel and her husband, Wayne. But thankfully, he did not weigh 11 pounds -- just a healthy 7 pounds, 7 ounces.

"It's been exciting around here," Rachel Nix said.

11 things to love

Wedding vows rang out Friday across Tarrant County as brides and grooms hoped to make it their lucky day.

In Justice of the Peace Ralph Swearingen's courtroom in the Tarrant County Courthouse, the hottest ticket was the 11:11 a.m. time slot.

"It's something like Valentine's Day," Swearingen said at midmorning, "but the numbers seem to be growing."

He married three couples at 11 a.m. and five more at 11:11 a.m. He timed them carefully so that the couples were pronounced husband and wife just as the clock struck the appropriate time.

"Go home and write down 11 things you love about each other," he counseled them, "and open it 11 years from now."

Yolanda Rodriguez and Julio Ortiz of North Richland Hills were married at 11:11 a.m.

"It's the luckiest day of the century," Rodriguez said. "We want to start off on the right foot."

Dr. Kerry Ragbir, a Denton dentist, wed Tu Uyen Mang then.

"I was overwhelmed," Mang said. "I've been waiting so long for this."

Ragbir said he is a veteran, so Friday -- Veterans Day -- was extra-special.

For many grooms, however, the luck of the day may carry on, giving them a break when they need to remember their anniversaries.

11 candles

Twins Audrey and Jillian Lemons were the toast of Eagle Mountain Elementary, where the fifth-graders shared their 11th birthday with Veterans Day events.

In the lunchroom, the school sang Happy Birthday to the girls, who live with their parents, Michelle and Steve Lemons, near Eagle Mountain Lake.

"They seemed a little overwhelmed about it," Michelle Lemons said. "They really did have quite an exciting moment."

The girls realized last year, when they turned 10 in 2010, that their 11th birthday would be special. They celebrated early with a trip to the U.S. Virgin Islands and were set to have a sleepover with six friends Friday night.

Family and friends will bring the celebrators to a dozen or more.

"They're pretty wound-up right now," their mom said.

Luck of the draw

Gamblers across North Texas were hoping that luck would be a lady Friday night.

At the Oklahoma casinos across the Red River, Texas cars were helping fill parking lots. The Riverwind Casino in Norman was offering a promotion to give away $11,000 between 1 and 11 p.m., said Kym Koch of Koch Communications.

WinStar World Casino in Thackerville was offering a Veterans Day special but was also seeing a crush of business.

"They are seeing quite a bit of activity," Koch said, "more so than typical because of the date. People are trying their luck because of the date."

In Fort Worth, lotto sales were brisk at the 7-Eleven at West Seventh Street and Summit Avenue, though most buyers mentioned Veterans Day rather than the unusual date.

Figures for statewide lotto sales were unavailable because state officials -- lucky them -- had the day off.

Dianna Hunt, 817-390-7084

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