Fake News: NOT True That 20:20:20 In 2020 Will Never Happen Again In Our Lifetime

Fact Check

  • by: Ryan Cooper

Is it true that tonight at 8:20 pm and 20 seconds, it will be 20:20:20 in 2020, which will never happen again in our lifetime? No, that's not true: The meme being shared claims this will happen only once, but it will actually occur every night for the rest of the year.

The apparent joke originated from a meme (archived here) published by Psychedelic Hillbilly on January 6, 2020. It opened:

Today evening at 8:20 pm and 20 seconds it will be 20:20:20 2020. ! It will never happen in our lifetime again.


The post has gotten tens of thousands of shares on social media, even though it is untrue. In the U.S., 20:20:20 represents 8:20 p.m. in military time. The 24-hour clock is also used in most countries outside the United States. This year is a Leap Year, so the chronological phenomenon will happen 366 times in 2020.

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  Ryan Cooper

Ryan Cooper, a staff writer and fact-checker for Lead Stories, is the former Director of Programming at CNN International, where he helped shape the network's daily newscasts broadcast to more than 280 million households around the world. He was based at the network's Los Angeles Bureau. There, he managed the team responsible for a three-hour nightly program, Newsroom LA.

Formerly, he worked at the headquarters in Atlanta, and he spent four years at the London bureau. An award-winning producer, Cooper oversaw the network's Emmy Award-winning coverage of the uprising in Egypt in 2011. He also served as a supervising producer during much of the network's live reporting on the Israel-Hezbollah conflict in 2006, for which CNN received an Edward R. Murrow Award.

Read more about or contact Ryan Cooper

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