Tag Archives: 11:11

The 11:11 Game

Informant Information – SI

  • Nationality: American
  • Age: 20
  • Occupation: Student
  • Residence: Los Angeles, California
  • Date of Performance/Collection: April 20, 2022
  • Primary Language: English

The informant grew up playing this game with their sister. They started playing this game as children and still play when they are together at their parents’ house. This information was shared with me in an in-person interview. 

The 11:11 game is played by the informant and their siblings; they began playing it as children and still play as adults when they are all together at their family home. 

If someone notices that it is 11:11am or pm, they must announce the time and shout out a task, such as standing on a chair or knocking on wood. Everyone that wants to play will then complete the task and then shout out a different task. 

Players should try to complete as many tasks as possible before the minute ends. Playing this game and completing these rituals is supposed to bring the players good luck. 


In this game, the time, 11:11, is ritualized. Participants must perform a prescribed set of actions, hoping that they will produce a desired result, good luck. As in other rituals, the bounds of acceptable behavior become flexible– while it might be strange to stand on a chair at another time, it is encouraged at 11:11.  

11:11 wish


This piece was collected in a casual interview setting on the informant’s living room couch . My informant (CH) was born in Pasadena, CA, but grew up in a very French household, learning English as her second language. All of her education has been in American schools, but she learned how to read and write French thanks to after school lessons her mom gave her and her older sister. She is currently a Sophomore in high school and enjoys horseback riding, 

Main Piece:

The following is transcribed from a conversation between the informant (CH) and interviewer.

Interviewer: When can you make a wish?

CH: When the time is exactly at 11:11 you can make a wish and it is supposed to come true if you don’t tell anyone but you have to say it, say it at 11:11 exactly for it to come true. 

Interviewer: Where did you learn this from?

CH: My sister. She’s obsessed with it, she does it all the time. She learned it from our older sister I think. 

Interviewer: And where did her older sister learn it from?

CH: Umm *laughs* I would guess, guess from school, from a friend from school or something like that.


I absolutely believe in my 11:11 wishes, they are very important to me. I learned about them from my older sister who had heard of 11:11 wishes at school. When I was applying for college as a senior back in high school, my 11:11 wishes meant the world to me, and many other people at school also used them to wish to get accepted into their dream school. While some people did it a little as a joke, and others made fun of the rest of us for believing in these wishes, during a time of great stress they brought a bit of relief to our class. I believe this a rather new belief, from what I have heard on the internet and among friends, and that it dates back to digital watches. However, as it is folklore, I do not know this folkbelief’s origin. 



“My aunt was injured in a skiing accident and she’s parapaligic and now my cousin believes in 11:11 and now he has an alarm that goes off.  And every 11:11 he makes a wish for her to walk again.  I believe it too and I also make a wish for her.”

The 11:11 wish is relatively new.  The earliest it could have started is the beginning of digital clocks and clocks that actually showed 11:11.  Plus, it is only possible to have two if the time is not military.  It is the only numbers on the clock that is the same backwards, forwards and upside down.  Somehow, this has given the number special powers and has people believing that it is a sign or signals spirit presence.  For this family though, it is a way to influence something they feel helpless in front of.  When medicine doesn’t work, it is much easier to turn to some kind of magic to help.