If you think you’ve been hearing a lot about Netflix’s Squid Game recently, just be thankful you’re not the man whose phone number was given away in the show’s first episode. Following the success of the gruesome Korean series, fans of the show have been calling a phone number prominently featured in its first episode. However, it turns out the line these folks are calling was not one made up for Squid Game, but actually belongs to a Korean man living in Gyeonggi Province, according to The South China Morning Post (via IGN), and he’s now getting around 4,000 calls a day.
For those interested (but gracious enough to leave the poor man alone), the phone number in question appears in the first episode of Squid Game numerous times, as it graces multiple business cards handed out to the show’s cast of characters inviting them to compete in a series of gory games in hopes of winning a massive cash prize. The phone number is also featured in the show’s trailer, which has already racked up nearly 13 million views since its release a month ago.
According to the report, viewers are apparently calling the number to state their interest in being “in the game,” perhaps assuming the line would lead to a pre-existing hotline created as a publicity stunt for the series. However, they are instead being met by the presumably very full inbox of the unsuspecting man whose life has now been turned upside down by the show’s success. A local Korean newspaper, Hankook Ilbo, has stated Netflix is currently “in negotiations with the phone number owner to resolve the issue,” however the bizarre issue has attracted the attention of other parties interested in obtaining the number.
South Korea’s National Revolutionary Party’s honorary chief, Huh Kyung-young, has reportedly made an offer of 100 million won — or $85,000 USD — to purchase the phone number. According to the presidential hopeful, he has heard “that the owner of the phone number showed on a business card in Squid Game is suffering serious damage from prank calls” and would like to resolve the issue through buying “the number for 100 million won.”
However, despite all these big numbers being thrown around and having Netflix on the phone, the owner of the number is reportedly hesitant to give it away. According to the reports, he has been using it for over a decade and it is linked with his business. However, seeing as Squid Game will likely become Netflix biggest show ever, we wouldn’t be surprised if he takes one of these offers here soon.