People celebrate the lucky date Aug. 8, 2008

August 8, 2008 12:00:00 AM PDT
The date is 8-08-08, you may have noticed, and 8 is a lucky number in the Chinese culture. We won't see a date with this many 8's again for 80 years. Some people are betting the rest of their lives on some of the day's luck will rub off on them.

A couple hopes for a marriage filled with hope and prosperity because eight is a lucky number in Chinese and how can you top 8-8-08.

"It's a good number you know," said Akaraporn Haas, a bride.

It's one of the most popular days of the year for a wedding.

"Well we were planning, thought about getting married today and we decided it was too booked and then it happened to open up," said Evan Haas, a groom.

San Francisco City Hall has become a wedding factory on the lucky day. Call it the luck of the eights.

"888 is suppose to be lucky and I need luck," said Maria Vietl, a new bride from Milpitas.

City Hall brought in extra volunteer commissioners to conduct ceremonies. The number of weddings on this day was more than triple a normal Friday.

"128 ceremonies, 68 marriage licenses, 8 tables in the room, 38 chairs, 28 stantions," Karen Hong Yee, the San Francisco City Clerk.

The couples could also get a souvenir marriage certificate. Not all weddings followed Chinese tradition.

"He plays the lottery and always picks 8," said Louise Gallo, a new bride from Coventry, England.
"Have you won?" asks ABC7's Don Sanchez.
"Not much. 100 pounds is the maximum I've won with my numbers," said Giuseppe Gallo, the groom.

Lotto players were also focusing on 8's with the Super Lotto, scratchers, and casinos had lucky 8 jackpots.

"Do you feel lucky. I hope so," said a lottery player.

Real estate prices ending in 8's are suppose to bring luck, telephone numbers are coveted, and it brings a certain edge to business.

"I'm hoping 88 customers will come by for 88 policies," said a business owner.

In Chinese, the word for 8 sounds similar to words which mean prosper, wealth or fortune with a dash of joy and happiness.


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