CHICAGO — 9x9 = merchandise.
In May 2013, then third-grader Maggie Ciara on a school multiplication test answered the question of 9 times 9 with "Hossa," referring to Blackhawks star Marian Hossa, who wears uniform No. 81. DNAinfo Chicago broke the story, which went viral, including an appearance on SportsCenter.
Last month, PUCKHCKY.com CEO Matt Marini saw the story and wanted to add the design of Ciara's test to the company's official Marian Hossa Signature Series apparel. Marini located Maggie and her mother, Diane, and they recently signed a deal, which will give Maggie royalties, to create 9x9 = Hossa T-shirts, hoodies, hats and stickers.
"Whatever we can put it in," Marini said. "We're going to make Maggie's designs and make her a superstar. Maggie did something brilliant. It was absolutely fantastic and gutsy."
Maggie also met Hossa this month during an autograph session. Hossa signed Maggie's test and remembered her from the story.
"In his broken language, he says to Maggie, 'You are the famous Internet girl,'" Diane Ciara said.
"I can't believe it took three years to meet him," said Maggie, now 11. "It was awesome. I can't believe he actually remembered who I was."
Justin Breen details how the original story went viral:
In an email sent from his agent, Ritch Winter, Hossa said he thinks "Maggie's story is very cool."
"For her to think 'Hossa' during a math test shows how passionate fans like Maggie are," Hossa said in the email. "It makes me appreciate how lucky we are as players to play for an organization like the Hawks, and fans like Maggie."
The official design, which utilizes the test's font and Maggie's handwriting style, was released Friday morning.
Diane Ciara said the opportunity is a great way for her daughter to "make some money for her bank account."
Maggie said she'll save the money for college tuition and a Jeep Wrangler.
"I never thought someone would want to do a clothes line with this," Maggie said. "I just thought [the test] would be a cool thing to post on the Internet."
Maggie Ciara's original third-grade multiplication test. [Diane Ciara]
Maggie was never looking for attention when answering the test question with "Hossa." Her teacher at the time, Christine Mech, circled the answer and wrote "What is this?" in red pen. When Maggie explained her response, Mech gave her credit, and she received an A+.
"Maggie is a very clever little girl," Mech said in 2013. "I love the way Maggie has a sense of humor. She did get her 100 percent on the quiz, and we had a little bit of a laugh afterward."
Here are the designs that were released Friday:
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