We know D.C. Get our free newsletter to stay in the know.

When Rachel Thompson stepped out of the Palisades Library on Jan. 24, she found that her car—illegally parked, she admits—had been ticketed, garnering her a $50 fine. A month later, while getting around to paying that ticket and another one, Thompson noticed something curious: The ticket number, usually a smattering of up to 10 random-looking characters, was a much more orderly figure: 999999999999. In the space allotted for the parking officer’s badge number were even more nines—five of them. After consulting the D.C. government’s online ticket database, Thompson discovered that her ticket didn’t officially exist. “I guess I got lucky, in that I didn’t pay it,” she says. “I want to know what would’ve happened if I sent in my money.” Department of Public Works spokesperson Mary Myers says she hasn’t heard of any similar nine-centric tickets and was unable to offer the citation’s definitive provenance, positing that it might have come from an officer in training. “Are you sure it didn’t say 666666666666?” she asks. —John Metcalfe