I'm not talking about the names of hats with numbers, I'm talking about the hat id's. While inspecting the code for any possible bugs and clues for secret hats , I have found some weird numbers associated with each hat:

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We got random hat numbers from 1 to 3 to 6 and even to the millions:

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I mean for readability, I would expect the hat id's to be in order counting by one's but what's with the random numbers for the hat id's? Do the numbers represent rarity, order received?

  • I'm happy you found my answer valuable, but you might want to hold off on the acceptance to see if somebody from SE who actually knows decides to answer. Dec 27, 2016 at 17:25
  • @MonicaCellio I'll hold it until someone does Dec 27, 2016 at 17:26

2 Answers 2


In addition to not wanting to make it trivial to find all the secret hats, I suspect that a hat gets its ID at creation time and not all hats make it to production. We know that SE tests hats in advance; it's reasonable to assume that they might occasionally decide to withdraw a hat entirely or set it aside to be reworked for next year.

If I were SE, I'd deliberately not number the hats contiguously either, to fend off posts asking "what happened to 42?".

I'm not SE, so I don't know if that's actually why.


The random numbers for the (secret) hats is to prevent people from discovering secret hats by just changing the numbers on the URLs. E.g. the image for They Live, the secret hat with ID 71583513, is hosted at http://cdn-prom.sstatic.net/WinterBash/img/hat/71583513.svg – if their IDs were just 40, 41, 42, etc. they'd all soon be discovered.

  • Interesting answer... but for the normal hats too? Dec 27, 2016 at 16:55
  • I have no idea about the gaps in the regular hat IDs, though. Their images are stored in the CSS anyway. The sequence of IDs seems to be equal to the order in which they're shown on the main Winter Bash page.
    – Glorfindel Mod
    Dec 27, 2016 at 16:57
  • 2
    @PythonMaster Gaps in the normal hats' ids could simply be hats that were in development but didn't make the final cut. No reason to renumber them all just because a gap developed somehow. Dec 27, 2016 at 17:04
  • @SevenSidedDie that was my guess as well, but I found it just to speculative to include in the answer. I'll prefer to wait for a SO dev to confirm.
    – Glorfindel Mod
    Dec 27, 2016 at 17:05
  • @SevenSidedDie Unstandable Dec 27, 2016 at 17:05
  • @SevenSidedDie oops, I did not see your comment here until after I'd written my answer. Dec 27, 2016 at 17:15
  • @Monica Better in an answer than buried in the comments! :) Dec 27, 2016 at 17:23
  • @SevenSidedDie sure, but if I'd seen it I'd've encouraged you to write it instead. But I didn't see, because it was only in a comment, so... answered now. :-) Dec 27, 2016 at 17:24
  • 1
    @Monica I imagine you would have, yes, as you're extremely courteous that way. But it's groggy-morning time here, so probably better that someone else composed it anyway. It's all good — and I should know better than to leave answer-y material in the comments, so my loss. :) Dec 27, 2016 at 17:27

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