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Lucky phone number auctioned for 2.33 million yuan
( 2003-08-19 10:10) (Agencies)

A special phone number, "88888888",was auctioned Monday in this capital of southwest China's Sichuan Province, for 2.33 million yuan (US$280,723).

The digit 8 is a lucky number in China as it has a similar pronunciation to the Chinese character which means "rich."

At the auction, the phone number composed of eight "8"s was eventually bought by a bidder representing Sichuan Airlines Co., Ltd. after several rounds of bidding.

Yu Xiudao, deputy general manager of the company, said that thephone number would be used for the company's 24-hour hotline, which is planned to provide ticket reservation and flight information services.

On the auction were a total of 100 phone numbers which include combinations of special numbers like "8", "6" and "9" were sold for a total of 7.13 million yuan (US$859,000).

Zhang Xin, chief of Chengdu's telecommunications office, said all the money would be donated for the city's "reemployment project" which aims to help laid-off workers, and a special fund for fire fighters.

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