In what may sound like a total what-the-fudge bidding war, someone in northern China was able to purchase a “lucky” phone number ending in five fives for the price of more than 350,000 yuan ($52,000).
According to South China Morning Post, the number, which was initially priced at 11,250 yuan ($1,674), saw a massive boost in its value by more than 30 times in just a matter of 12 minutes when 140 registered people placed their bid on the number during the 24-hour auction.
A bidder, with the username Li Zisheng, won the bidding war on Tuesday, as announced by Alibaba’s Sifa court auction platform.
The number five in Chinese represents happiness or wealth when spoken. But this is not the only popular number that people go for. There’s also six, eight, and nine, which sounds like strength, wealth, and longevity, respectively, the report said.
While the price tag just to get this number is most definitely outrageous, this isn’t actually the first time someone cashed out an amount as big as this – in fact, it’s not even record-breaking to say the least.
The most expensive purchase ever when it comes to phone numbers was made in 2004 when someone bought a number containing a combination of eights and fives for the price of $680,000. Then, in 2006, a car license plate that contains five eights was sold in Zhejiang province, China for 1.67 million yuan ($248,500).
While some people were willing to go through all that trouble and prepared to spend thousands upon thousands of yuan for plate or phone numbers that are deemed lucky, others were pretty much on the opposite side of the coin.
“Are mobile and car plate numbers really this important?” a Weibo user, reportedly from Hunan province, wrote on social media. “This type of number will have a higher chance of getting spam calls.”