In August 2003, an auction was held for coveted phone numbers containing the lucky number 8. About 100 phone numbers with lucky digits were up for grabs. A very special phone number, "88888888", was auctioned off and Sichuan Airlines had to have it. After several rounds of bidding, the number was sold for 2.33 million yuan or about 280,723 US dollars.
The digit 8 is a lucky number in China as it has a similar pronunciation to the Chinese character which means "rich." So a phone number that consists of eight consecutive 8’s is basically priceless.
When asked, the General Manager of the company said that the phone number would be used for the airline’s 24-hour hotline, which provides ticket reservation and flight information services.
A spokesperson for Sichuan Airlines told the Associated Press that "An eight-digit number containing only the number eight is considered especially auspicious. Everyone at the company believes the number was worth the price we paid.”
It’s certainly no coincidence that the luckiest of phone numbers was auctioned during the 8th month of the year.