Goh Chok Tong raised S$36,000 by auctioning his bicentennial S$20 notes – and he thought up the idea on the spot

He also left a signed message to the winning bidder.

If you thought the hype over Singapore’s recent S$20 Bicentennial notes was over, think again.

A set of three notes just sold at a charity auction for $36,199 – well over 600 times their S$60 face value.

The notes, which belonged to Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong, were an uncut sheet of three, which were initially sold by the Singapore Mint for S$280 per set.

Just 5,000 sets of these commemorative sheets have been made, and all of them are sold out. Due to overwhelming demand, they were allocated using a balloting system.

The former Prime Minister sold off his set at a charity lunch for Arc Children’s Centre on Sunday (June 30), where he was the guest of honour.

The centre supports children with cancer and life-threatening illnesses.

According to a report by The Straits Times, ESM Goh said he had not originally brought anything for the auction, but came up with the idea of auctioning off his notes – which he had just bought – on the spot.

In a Facebook post on Sunday (June 30), Goh said the notes went to local property developer and hotel conglomerate City Developments Limited (CDL).

He joked that the amount CDL bid looked like “a lucky 4D number”.

“Why this particular number? ‘3’ is for the 3 notes and ‘6199’ is the last four digits of the third note,” he explained.

In one of the photos uploaded to Facebook, ESM Goh appears to have penned a message on the inside cover of the booklet containing the notes.

The message appears to read: “You are generous. Warmest Regards,” followed by a signature and date.

“Having a child diagnosed with cancer or a life-threatening illness can be a truly traumatic experience,” he wrote on Facebook. “[The children] need more volunteers and donations to keep them going, growing and glowing.”

According to his Facebook post, ESM Goh previously donated a set of first-day cover postage stamps at the charity’s 2011 lunch, for which someone bid S$10,000.

Per their name, first-day stamps are franked on the first day they are issued. Goh’s stamps were a 1978 commemorative set made in honour of the 10th anniversary of Neptune Orient Lines, Singapore’s former national shipping line.

Another set of the same first-day cover stamps was selling on Carousell for S$10 at time of writing.

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