How Many Bras Does a Woman Buy in Her Life? as We Enter the New Year, 25 Things to Help You Remember It's 1999

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Byline: JULIAN CHAMPKIN

AS EVERYONE today begins to get used to it being 1999, the Daily Mail has uncovered 25 fascinating facts about the number 99.

1 THE '99' ice-cream cone with a chocolate flake was named because the original chocolate log stuck in the cone was 99 millimetres long. They were made that length so they could fit easily into 100-millimetre boxes.

2 INCONVENIENTLY is the shortest single word in the English language that contains all the letters of the words 'ninety-nine'.

3 MOST British prices end in 99p, as [pounds sterling]5.99 or [pounds sterling]12.99 instead of [pounds sterling]6 or [pounds sterling]13.

Because there are around 80 million cash transactions in our high streets every week, this means that 80 million annoying and almost-meaningless one-penny pieces get given in change each week as a result of this absurd practice.

4 ONE Briton in every 99 is called Andrew; and another one Briton in 99 is called Mary. One person in 99 lives in Leicestershire; and one in every 99 is aged 59.

5 MIKE ATHERTON has been out for 99 twice in Test matches.

6 NORWICH is exactly 99 miles from London.

7 IT TOOK 98 manned space flights before, on the 99th, Svet-lana Savitskaya became the first woman to walk in space.

8 THE average woman in Britain buys 99 bras in her lifetime. Bra makers assure us that this is true.

9 ADD up the letters of your full name, counting A as one, B as two, and so on. If the result is 9 or 99, numerologists claim it means you are a lover of humanity, with a strong emotional nature likely to be an artist or a traveller.

10 THE most northerly A-road in mainland Britain is the A99, between Wick and John O'Groats.

11 99 is what mathematicians call a Kaprekar number. If you square it (99 x 99 = 9801), split the answer in two (98 and 01), and add the two parts (98 + 01 = 99) you get the number you first thought of. The next Kaprekar number is 297 (297 x 297 = 88209, and 88 + 209 = 297). Kaprekar numbers have no known use whatever.

12 ONLY old-fashioned doctors ask us to 'Say 99' while peering down our throats. 'Aaaah' exposes our open larynxes to inspection for a longer uninterrupted time.

13 IN ISLAM, there are 99 sacred names of Allah. The first five are Allah, the Mighty, the Independent, the Compassionate, the Forgiving. The final one is the Patient.

14 THERE are two card games known as 'ninety-nine'. The simpler one, played drunkenly in pubs, involves players discarding cards on to a pile so that their total value does not exceed 99. …