Might have something to do with the Chinese takeover.
Number 88 symbolizes fortune and good luck in Chinese culture, since the word 8 sounds similar to the word f? (?, which implies ??, or wealth, in Mandarin or Cantonese). The number 8 is considered to be the luckiest number in Chinese culture, and prices in Chinese supermarkets often contain many 8s. The shape of the Chinese character for 8 (?) implies that a person will have a great, wide future as the character starts narrow and gets wider toward the bottom. The Chinese government has been auctioning auto license plates containing many 8s for tens of thousands of dollars. The 2008 Beijing Olympics opened at 8 p.m., 8 August 2008.