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Monday, February 8, 2016

The Quick Guide to Chinese Lucky Numbers - Good for the Lottery

This guy better not hit and run!

(888) 888-8888

This is the most coveted US-based phone number for the Chinese because the number 8 is considered very lucky. In China a phone number containing all 8's was sold for $270,723 USD which is a lot of money in China (actually it is a lot of money in the US as well).

Similarly, the Olympics in Beijing, was started at 8pm on 08/08/08 (August 8, 2008).

Look on any nice car driven by a wealthy Chinese man and I'll be surprised if there isn't an 8 on the license plate.

So why all the hoopla about 8 (八 - "Ba" in Mandarin and "Baat" in Cantonese)?:
  1. It sounds very similar to the word for "prosper" ( - "Fa" in Mandarin and "Faat" in Cantonese)
  2. 88 looks like 囍 (which means double happiness)
On the flip side, the number 4 (四 - "Si" in Mandarin and "Sei" in Cantonese) is very unlucky
Where are those 4's?
  1. It sounds very similar to the word for "death" (死 - "Si" in Mandarin and "Sei" in Cantonese)
  2. One of the unluckiest numbers is 14 (十四 - "Shi Si" in Mandarin and "Sup Sei" in Cantonese) because it sounds like "10 deaths" (十死 in Mandarin ), "Wants to die" (要死 in Mandarin) or "Certainly die" (實死 in Cantonese) - heavy stuff.
For that reason, many buildings in Asia do not have the number 4 (see picture). If you look at a lot of product lines (Canon Powershot G3 and G5 but no G4), phone numbers, license plates, etc, you'll see that the number 4 is missing.

Other lucky numbers include: 2, 3, 9 and 13
Other unlucky numbers include: 5
Numbers that can be both lucky and unlucky: 6 and 7

Your phone number, license plate, the floor that you live on and/or apartment number are all status symbols to the Chinese. The more lucky numbers you have the higher your status, especially in East Asian countries, since you probably have to pay up in order to get those numbers.

Chinese people have a special relationship with numbers (maybe this is why we're good at math).

Let me know if there are other lucky or unlucky numbers out there!

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