PETALING JAYA (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Malaysia's betting outlets on Wednesday (July 4) sold out two sets of four-digit (4-D) numbers - 5753 and 2469 - after punters linked the numbers to former prime minister Najib Razak's being charged for corruption on the same day.
Both sets of numbers were sold out nationwide in less than two hours after all three 4-D betting operators opened for business. Even illegal 4-D bookies stopped accepting the bets from noon despite an overwhelming demand.
The number 5753 was arrived at after punters consulted a 4-D booklet using the words "arrested for corruption".
Meanwhile, the number 2469 is believed to be the number plate of the car that was used on Tuesday to transport Najib from his Kuala Lumpur home to the headquarters of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission headquarters in Putrajaya.
Checks at Magnum, Sports Toto and Pan Malaysian Pools showed that all outlets had exhausted the maximum quota allowed for a number to be placed as bets on a single draw.
One of the betting outlet operators, who wanted to be identified only as Lai, said there was a rush to buy both numbers.
"There was already a long queue since 8am. Punters rushed to place their bets as such hot numbers often sell out quickly," the operator said.
Magnum combined RM8,000 bets for its big and small draws on a single number while Sports Toto's maximum bet is RM5,000.
Pan Malaysian Pools, the operator of Da Ma Cai, allowed a maximum bet of RM6,000 for a single number draw.
According to an illegal 4-D operator in George Town, Penang, who declined to be named, some punters had been placing bets since Tuesday evening.
"We do not allow any bets that are more than RM100 on a single number initially."
However, he said, as of noon on Wednesday, illegal bookies stopped taking in bets but honoured the earlier bookings despite an overwhelming demand.
"We are worried it may turn out as a winning number. In the past, we were badly hit by such hot numbers."
Najib's arrest on Tuesday hogged headlines and was the talk of the town, spurring hardcore punters to look up their "4-D bible" for the right numbers to bet on in the hope of a windfall.