A Bulgarian phone number featuring nine eights has been cut off after three successive owners died in suspicious circumstances.
The details come courtesy of the Telegraph, which reports that the first owner of 0888 888 888 died of cancer aged 48, while the next two were gunned down following shady business dealings. Such circumstances surely prove that the number is genuinely cursed, or maybe that criminals in Bulgaria with too much money to spend tend to wind up dead.
Eights are considered lucky in many cultures, which is why the Chinese Airline Sichuan Airlines spent around £200,000 buying 8888 8888 back in 2003, though the company claimed that was also because it was easy to remember.
But having nine of them seems rather less lucky, at least in Bulgaria.
The first owner was the CEO of Mobitel who had the misfortune to die of cancer in 2001. The number was then apparently purchased by a Bulgarian mafia boss, Konstantin Dimitrov, who was gunned down in 2003 while visiting Amsterdam with a fashion model (who copped a ricochet but survived). The last owner, one Konstantin Dishliev, was running a cocaine-smuggling operation when he was shot numerous times outside a restaurant in 2005.
Now the investigation into that final death is over the number is routing to a recorded announcement and apparently won't be allocated to anyone else for their own safety. Bulgarian gangsters called Konstantin can now breathe easy. ®