A “lucky” mobile phone number has sold for a whopping 2.25 million yuan (US$325,000) after hundreds of people in China vied online for the right to use the apparently auspicious string of digits. The number ends in five 8s, a sought-after combination in China because the word “eight” in Mandarin sounds similar to the word for “prosperity”. The number was among assets seized and ordered to be auctioned by a court in Beijing, and an online sale attracted more than 5,000 bids between Saturday and Sunday. Phone users in China – especially companies seeking to impress clients and business partners – often pay a premium for combinations of digits considered lucky. Eight is the most sought-after digit, and so prized in China that the opening ceremony of the 2008 Olympics in Beijing started officially at eight minutes past eight on the eighth day of August, the eighth month. The number four, which in Mandarin sounds similar to “death”, is the least favoured. The winner of Sunday’s auction paid 400 yuan to join the bidding and has 10 days to come up with the remaining sum. A phone number ending in eight 7s holds the record on the auction platform after fetching 3.91 million yuan at a 2017 auction. Seven sounds like “arise” or “life essence” and is considered a good number for relationships.