But as popular as that candy has been over the years, a question that lingers for many is – how many licks does it take to get to the Tootsie Roll center of a Tootsie Pop.  Do you know?

It turns out that at least three detailed scientific studies have attempted to determine the number of licks required to reach the Tootsie Roll center of a Tootsie Pop.

A group of engineering students from Purdue University reported that its licking machine, modeled after a human tongue, took an average of 364 licks to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop (however, twenty of the group’s volunteers assumed the licking challenge-unassisted by machinery-and averaged 252 licks each to the center).

Not to be outdone, a chemical engineering doctorate student from the University of Michigan recorded that his customized licking machine required 411 licks to reach the Tootsie Roll center of a Tootsie Pop.

But then, rejecting the notion that one needed a fancy college degree (and/or machinery), a group of junior high students at Swathmore School used human lickers, reporting an average of 144 licks to reach the center of a Tootsie Pop.

Which leaves us with the following conclusion from none other than the official Web site of Tootsie Roll Industries; “Based on the wide range of results from these scientific studies, it is clear that the world may never know how many licks it really takes to get to the Tootsie Roll center of a Tootsie Pop.”

You can relive some of those Tootsie Roll commercials at http://www.tootsie.com/gal_commercial.php

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Editor’s Note:  Whilst researching this week’s question, I came across the following joke, which I enjoyed.  While it was attributed to people of a specific hair coloring, I’ll let you fill in your own reference:

Spotting someone eating a Tootsie Roll Pop, they asked “So,… how many licks does it take to get to the center of a Tootsie Roll Pop?”

Without a thought, __________ replied, “Beats me, but it took almost the whole day just to lick through the wrapper.”

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