Manama: The craze for vanity mobile phone numbers in Kuwait has reached a new level after the easy-to-remember number 55555555 was sold for KD210, 000 (Dh2.7 million).

The public bidding by mobile phone operator Viva, at a Kuwait hotel, was attended by large crowds. The auction was launched at KD100, 000, Al Aan news portal reported.

The previous record in prestige-conscious Kuwait City was KD116, 500 for the number 90000000, sold by mobile operator Zain. The bidding started at KD50, 000.

The concept of vanity mobile numbers reached its pinnacle in May 2006, when the number 666 6666 was auctioned in Qatar for Dh9.9 million. The bidding started at one million riyals, but interest quickly narrowed from eight to just two bidders.

The previous record was for a Chinese number 8888 8888, sold for $410,000. The Cantonese word for ‘eight’ sounds very similar to the word for ‘rich’.