In Hong Kong, a single-letter license plate with the letter "R" was recently sold for a whopping $3.2 million at auction.
This is not surprising given the importance of fortune-telling in Chinese culture. The license plate was auctioned off by the Hong Kong Transport Department during their Lunar New Year auction and was the second-highest amount paid for a license plate in the city.
The license plate with the letter "W" still holds the record for the highest amount paid for a license plate in the city after selling for HK$26 million ($3.3 million) in 2021. During the auction, the bidding for the "R" license plate was intense and exciting, with 49 other license plates up for auction. The bidding started at HK$5,000 ($650) and quickly rose as a dozen buyers raised the price. Eventually, the bidding war ended after 60 rounds with the winning bid at HK$25.5 million.
The letter "R" is considered an auspicious number in Chinese fortune-telling, particularly for racing cars, which explains why the license plate sold for 5100 times the reserve price. The most expensive license plate sold was for a staggering $9 million by billionaire Abu Sabah, also known as Balvinder Sahni, in Dubai. Interestingly, he spent $9 million on a license plate for a car worth $800,000, proving that sometimes the heart wants what it wants!