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(Soundbite of "867-5309 (Jenny)")

Mr. TOMMY TUTONE: (Singing) Jenny, I've got your number I need to make you mine Jenny, don't change your number 8 6 7-5 3 0 9 (8 6 7-5 3 0 9)


When Tommy Tutone performed this hit song back at 1982, you could be sure more than a few people would actually try to call 867-5309. Well, now more than a quarter century later in New Jersey, a DJ is selling his version of the number on eBay. He do this because he's also selling his DJ business and through, that he can legally transfer the number. Now, there are hundreds of area codes across North America and therefore, hundreds of potential versions of the number. Apparently, not everyone who has the number sees it as a revenue stream.

(Soundbite of telephone company recording)

Unidentified Woman: The number you have reached, 867-5309, has been disconnected and is no longer in service.

SIMON: Apparently, a lot of people who have that number receive unsolicited calls - not just from pranksters, but people who have been duped.

Mr. JOSH MANNING(ph): It's been interesting, let me tell you.

SIMON: We reached Josh Manning(ph) somewhere in the Midwest. He asked us not to mention exactly where. He's usually busy enough on Saturdays, fielding phone calls about Jenny and from frustrated suitors.

Mr. MANNING: Like on a Saturday morning or on a Sunday, I usually get messages from some guy saying, you know, hey, Sally, this is Bill. I met you at the bar last night, thought you were really hot, curious when you want to go out. Here's my number. Give me a call. So a lot of girls give this number when they don't want a guy to have their number.

SIMON: You can call the number all over the United States and in Canada, too.

(Soundbite of telephone company recording)

Unidentified Woman: La poste que vous appelez ne peut recevoir d'appel. C'etait un message enregistre.

SIMON: Here, the operator alerts Jenny callers that his number is no longer set up to receive incoming calls. And no wonder.

Mr. ALESSANDRO MONTEFERRANTE: I've been getting prank calls for the past three years. I get calls of all kinds in the middle of the night.

SIMON: That's Alessandro Monteferrante. He has the number in Montreal, Quebec. He actually requested the number from his local telephone company, and says he has no regrets. Mr. Monteferrante just recently got his real estate license, you see. And now, he says, all the publicity of the latest eBay auction has been a boon for his business.

Mr. MONTEFERRANTE: All in all I'm up to about 300 calls now. More inportantly is, I've gotten six or seven real estate leads because it's all - I've been waiting for this for three years now, to finally make use of the number in the right way.

SIMON: It's unclear how the bidders on the eBay auction plan to make use of the New Jersey version of the number. The auction ends on Monday. The top bid is already over $350,000.

(Soundbite of song "867-5309 (Jenny)")

Mr. TUTONE: (Singing)

8 6 7-5 3 0 9 (8 6 7-5 3 0 9) 8 6 7-5 3 0 9 (8 6 7-5 3 0 9) 8 6 7-5 3 0 9 (8 6 7-5 3 0 9) 8 6 7-5 3 0 9 (8 6 7-5 3 0 9) 5 3 0 9 8 6 7-5 3 0 9 (8 6 7-5 3 0 9) 8 6 7-5 3 0 9 (8 6 7-5 3 0 9) 5 3 0 9...

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