Lucky numbers bring big bucks
PHUKET TOWN: Lucky car number-plate Kor Jor 9999 brought 1.2 million baht at an auction at Royal Phuket City in Phuket Town yesterday. The same bidder picked up 8888 for 560,000 baht. About 200 people, most of them businessmen or representatives of car dealers, attended to bid for four-of-a-kind and other quirky plates favored by drivers with money to splurge. About four million baht was expected to be raised over the two-day auction, organized by the Phuket Provincial Transportation Office. But the first day’s bidding for only 87 of the 301 plates brought in 6,973,000 baht and by the end of today’s auction, the total was 8,442,500 baht. Four-of-a-kind numbers alone brought in about 3.5 million baht. The Deputy Minister of Transportation, Nikorn Chamnong, chaired the event and said that Phuket people seemed even more keen on buying the plates than Bangkok bidders had. The first sale began with 8899, which Piriya “Yai” Tantipiriyakit, Managing Director of Muang Mai Motor Co, picked up for 50,000 baht. Taweesak Pucharoen, owner of The Racha Resort and the Saveoy Restaurant at Patong, bought 8888, 9999 and 111 for a total outlay of 1,910,000 baht. The “lucky” plates are distinguished from normal plates by having a colorful background scene of Laem Promthep. Proceeds from the auction will go to the Road Safety Fund. There will not be another such auction in Phuket for three years, but similar plates will be put up for bids soon in Songkla and Chiang Mai. The first auction, in Bangkok, was arranged because the government wanted to stop the corruption formerly associated with obtaining lucky numbers.
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