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Number One License Plate

It was about a year ago that I saw a license plate with just the number one in Rhode Island. It was the governor's car. In Rhode Island, spotting low numbers is a sport and it's the mission of many Rhode Islanders to not only spot as low a number as possible, but to get a plate with a low number. Before seeing number one, the lowest I'd seen was seven.

And now, one year later, I learned the same thing about Andhra Pradesh, the state we live in here. We saw plate number one in our neighborhood and Mike asked our driver about it. It most likely belongs to one of the richest families in the state. There's a lottery and people pay thousands of dollars to get the license plates with the lowest numbers. It's good luck to have certain numbers, and there's good money in selling good luck.

However, our driver said, he thinks the most money ever paid for a license plate was for the tag "AK 47". That's not an auspicious number. It's just cool.

Comments

Lisette said…
I'm from Rhode Island, and I can absolutely attest to this license plate madness! I've seen the governer's plate a few times. My own license plate is 666-999. Not a low number, but still an interesting one that gets lots of comments! By default they don't issue plates with letters anymore. I find it fascinating that half-way around the world this is becoming a fad as well.
Stephanie said…
I'm from Rhode Island, too. No more letters in the plates? Did they really run out of number/letter combinations? You've got a great number!
Justin said…
I saw a similar thing in some "news of the weird" about how in Dubai the sheikhs pay MILLIONS to get vanity plates like that!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7pp6YzJLGx4
Vicky said…
Ah, low numbahs! I remember telling Dom this and he thought it was crazy until he spotted '3' and got all excited. Ha.
Anonymous said…
my first time ever in rhode island, im a western mass guy and my first time there we were going to the providence place mall and the car with 1 as the license plate passes, i guess it was the goenors wife cause it was a female driving a prius.
Anonymous said…
License plate number 1 in rhode island is also a purple heart receiver. I see it weekly, usually two older ladies. I'm thinking its one of their husbands.
Anonymous said…
I also spotted Rhode Island license plate "3" on Saturday. It was affixed to a dark blue or black BMW 3-series parked on the corner of N. Main St. and Thomas streets in Providence and a blond gentleman was carrying a covered plate of brownies to the car. He could be some kind of RI politician.
Anonymous said…
Does anyone know if this low numbered license plate obsession is still a thing? I'm writing a book and wanting to put something in it about the prestige of having a low numbered license plate in RI but all the articles I've seen about this stop around 2005. This is the latest thing I've found and it was written in 2011. As it's 2017 now, can someone please reply to this comment and let me know how low numbered license plates are viewed in Rhode Island today? Are they still a status symbol? Do people still pay hundreds of thousands for them? Do people no longer care? Thank you!
Stephanie said…
I'm sorry for the delay on this! I know that among my friends and family, we still look for the low plates because it's what we've always grown up doing. It's hard to break the habit.

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