Who’s the Vainest of Them All? Virginia!

Go figure! Vanity plates are only $10 in the Old Dominion State.

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Mirror, Mirror on the Wall, Who’s the Vainest of Them All? Virginia! was originally published on City Desk on Oct. 19, 2009, at 9:53 a.m.

Care of the recently launched Book of Odds Web site -- where you can learn the odds of just about anything, from having sex within an hour of bedtime (1 in 3.7) to choking on a non-food object (1 in 92,950) -- comes the news that Virginia is the vainest state. At least as measured by the number of vanity plates.

There are some 9.3 million registered vehicles in the United States that have been "vanitized," according to Stefan Lonce, editor of the Montauk Sun on Long Island, who coined that term and who may know more about vanity plates than anyone on Earth. He actually went to the trouble of coming up with that number, with the help of the American Association of Motor Vehicles and lots and lots of DMVs. For good reason: He’s writing a book called "LCNS2ROM -- LICENSE TO ROAM: VANITY LICENSE PLATES AND THE GR8 STORIES THEY TELL." (LCNS2ROM is Lonce’s own vanity plate.)

His findings show that Virginia has the most vanity plates of any state: 1 in 6.18 registered cars there has one. That’s 16 percent.

After Virginia, the vainest states are: New Hampshire (1 in 7.14); Illinois (1 in 7.45); Nevada (1 in 7.8); Montana (1 in 10.2); and Maine (1 in 10.21). Texas has the lowest percentage of vanity plates, with 1 in 178.3 cars, or just more than half of 1 percent. 

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