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It takes 285 licks to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop.


Ah, the age-old question: How many licks does it take to get to that delectable, embedded Tootsie Roll treat? Mr. Owl says three but, obviously, that’s an anatomical impossibility, so the Spirit staff literally took matters into our own hands. Our average licks numbered 285, but results varied greatly, with one of us finishing lickety-split—147 swipes of the tongue—and another needing a numbing 648 slurps. Tootsie Roll Industries President Ellen Gordon says that’s to be expected: “The amount of licks depends on the size of your mouth and the energy with which you lick. It also depends on exactly when you stop licking.” She should know; the company has received tens of thousands of letters on the topic since 1970, and at least three scientific studies have been performed at universities. College kids with a reason other than puppy love and beer pong to pucker up? How sweet is that?



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