ZIP It for Schenectady

Huh. We were watching an old episode of CBS’ mathematical crime series “NUMB3RS” on the TiVo. Charlie (David Krumholtz) randomly throws out this piece of trivia: The ZIP code 12345 exists, and is assigned to Schenectady, New York.

Intrigued, I found this bit of trivia:

There is a growing problem that the USPS is very concerned with, regarding the use of the ZIP code 12345-6789 in promotional examples… It turns out that 12345-6789 is a real live ZIP. Inadvertently mail is getting made up to this ZIP regularly and creating a significant processing problem for Schenectady, NY. A better ZIP example to use for promotions is 98765-4321. “987” is an unassigned ZIP and therefore eliminates the possibility of mail ending up in the mail stream. You can help the USPS by prohibiting the use of 12345-6789 for promotional purposes within your own organizations and by spreading the word to your users.

Who knew? Guess 98765 is the postal service’s equivalent of those 555 telephone numbers in movies.

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