That's an old hack writers' trick from the pulp fiction days. It orignated with typing '123' as a placeholder for an indeterminate number to be later searched for and replaced with the correct value. On the old mechanical typewriters, the '1' key often had several cumbersome linkages for various shift functions that made it hard to quickly press the key down. So, quickly, lightly, typing '123' would produce '23'. Quite soon, people just omitted the '1' altogether and just typed '23'.
Often, a sloppy proofreader or factchecker would miss one of the placeholders, and it would end up in the published story. That's why so many old news reports often refer to '23' of this or on '23'rd street, & etc.
Or, I could just be bullshitting you.