What is twelve times twelve? Most of us, if we were paying any attention in school, know the answer is a gross – 144.
Okay, then what’s thirteen times thirteen? Gotcha, didn’t I? That’s because in our school multiplication tables, we stop at twelve – the last number before the compounds (“three-ten” for “thirteen”) kick in. This fits a pattern: the number thirteen suffers a bad rap by being associated with superstition.