Squid Game, the South Korean Netflix original series that has taken the world by storm, used a real phone number, and the Korean man who owns it is reportedly getting 4,000 calls and texts daily because of it. Now, South China Morning Post has reported that the man has been offered 100 million won ($85,000 USD) by a South Korean presidential candidate in exchange for his phone number, which has been receiving a bunch of calls after it was featured in the show.
Squid Game is a Hunger Games-like series that features a group of people risking their lives in a mysterious survival game that turns children's games into dangerous traps, for the chance to win 45.6 billion won ($38.7 million).
In the first episode of Squid Game, mulitple characters receive business cards containing an eight-digit phone number that gets contestants involved with the survival game. An unnamed man residing in Gyeonggi Province of South Korea told broadcaster MBC (via SCMP) that he owns the phone number used in the show and he was receiving around 4,000 phone calls a day, from people who sounded like kids, telling him that they "wanted to be in the game". The man says that he can't continue with his daily life due to endless calls. He said that he initially thought they were spam calls until someone told him that it was featured in a Netflix show. He said that he couldn't change his number because he's been using it for 10 years, and it's linked to his business.
According to the report by SCMP, South Korea's National Revolutionary Party's honorary chief, Huh Kyung-young wrote on Facebook: "I heard that the owner of the phone number showed on a business card in Squid Game is suffering serious damage from prank calls. I would like to buy the number for 100 million won."
The report noted that Huh is known for his eccentric campaign pledges, including gifting 100 million won in relief funds to all adults as well as a 1.5 million won "monthly dividend".
Related: Is the Squid Game Doll In The Red Light, Green Light Game Real? Here's Where To Visit It In Real Life
Hankook Ilbo recently reported that Netflix said that the drama production company, Siren Pictures, is currently negotiating with the phone number owner to resolve the issue.