In Squid Game, each of the 456 players is assigned a unique number from 001 to 456. E.g., the protagonist, Gi-hun's player number is the last number, "456", while Il-nam's (the old man) player number is the first number, "001".

Some of the player numbers:

Player name Player number
Oh Il-nam (the old man) 001
unnamed player (the glassmaker) 017
Kang Sae-byeok (the North Korean defector) 067
unnamed player, husband of Player 070 069
unnamed player, wife of Player 069 070
Jang Deok-su (the thug) 101
Byeong-gi (the doctor) 111
Abdul Ali (player from Pakistan) 199
Han Mi-nyeo (manipulative woman) 212
Cho Sang-woo (Gi-hun's childhood friend) 218
Ji-yeong (Sae-byeok's partner in the marbles game) 240
unnamed player (the pastor) 244
Seong Gi-hun 456

Do these player numbers have any significance or symbolism (from Korean culture, numerology, etc.) associated with them and the players they are assigned to?

I understand some of the significance or symbolism behind Gi-hun's and Il-nam's player numbers.* I am unsure about the others.

* Gi-hun having the last number probably foreshadowing him being the survivor of the games, and Il-nam having the first number probably symbolizing him being the originator of the games

  • I don't think so there is any symbolism in the player numbers, apart from 69 and 99 and the symbolism was explained in the series itself. Oct 12, 2021 at 14:09
  • 2
    @Stupid_Intern "apart from 69 and 99 and the symbolism was explained in the series itself." Can you elaborate? I haven't noticed these numbers' symbolism explained in the show. Oct 13, 2021 at 4:00
  • 1
    Symbols are sexual. It was mentioned in the last episode by one of the VIPs. Oct 13, 2021 at 4:03
  • 6
    @Stupid_Intern : that's not a symbol. Maybe it would have been if the player with that number was more "sexual" than the others. But he was not. The VIP just picked that number because of the sexual innuendo, regardless of who that player was.
    – vsz
    Oct 13, 2021 at 6:11
  • 2
    @Stupid_Intern Did you mean 69 and 96?
    – Kevin
    Oct 26, 2021 at 20:54

4 Answers 4


I think there is some symbolism.
Doctor is 111 - that's one of the emergency numbers in the Republic of Korea.
69 for the couple is not so much the innuendo as it is about partnership. that number looks like the Pisces sign (two fish swimming in a circle).
As for gi-hun - 456 strikes very much a gambler's number, due to its ascending digits. It's also the last number, to say he's an outlier, on the edge of society. Also, if I recall correctly, 4 is considered unlucky in some East-Asian cultures. the word for the number sounds much alike the word for "death".

I couldn't identify anything with 218 (San-Woo) on it's own, but notice how the last two players - 456 and 218 don't share any of the most common typological "lucky numbers" - 3 and 7.

this is all speculation I thought of while watching the show. didn't finish the last episode yet.


Really there is no significance other than 1 and 456.

1 being an old man at the beginning and cockily beating the first challenge. Easy to assume he had been playing the game a while from some of the small talk he made.

456 I guess being the last or last man standing. And player 1 pointing out to that he was the last number...

The others have no significance because either people vote to quit or they die. Based on the last few challenges I would assume that almost all of the games had no winners. They were not supposed to finish the glass challenge until the glass maker helped, and then the leader rigged that challenge for them to die still.

At best every single year the last 2 standing go to the last challenge - leader rigged. I did not get that inference from the series, just saying it could be an option. So one person wins. If the leader doesn't rig the glass game to have 2 or small number of people left... then why call it Squid Game, if they never play it.

Meaning all of the numbers mean nothing as they assign the numbers to new people every game because all of the old players - except player 1 - die.

Player 2 could be only significant because he was the first player that signed up or the first person the guards captured or the first person that got handed a numbered shirt. But there's nothing to say player 2 would have played another game somewhere.

  • 1
    "almost all of the games had no winners" - this doesn't seem likely. The detective goes through a list of winners, and although we don't see every year, there's a winner for every year he looks through. It's not implausible for the glass tiles game to be set up with a variable number of tiles, calculated according to how many people are left at that point, so that statistically only a small number of them survive. If too many players are left, add a few more tiles. If so few remain that success is too unlikely, remove some tiles to make it more likely that at least 2 or 3 make it through.
    – vsz
    Oct 13, 2021 at 4:55
  • @vsz - it is clear in the glass tiles episode that the leader was mad that they could make it through. They were clearly all going to die if the glassmaker didn't step forward. And he was surprised that they didn't take into account the glassmaker's former job. Also the detective didn't see winners he saw participants. He did see one sheet of one winner by year... which is ambiguous because it seems this is the main storage area... we see several binders for each year and the sheet only shows one winner... cont...
    – blankip
    Oct 13, 2021 at 15:45
  • If they are running multiple in Korea a year it is clear from the winner's sheet that most games end up with everyone dying. But that winner's sheet could have been for Korea or the globe which would make it even worse.
    – blankip
    Oct 13, 2021 at 15:46
  • 2
    That's just speculation. BTW the leader was not mad that they could make it through. And when the detective finds the name of his brother, there's a winner for each year, all in Korean. And there is nothing whatsoever which would hint there being more than one event per year in the same country. Nothing.
    – vsz
    Oct 13, 2021 at 15:50
  • @vsz - wrong we see multiple labels/binders for each year in the storage room. Not speculation, facts. Either sloppy writing or there are multiple events. And if there are no multiple events and this is just a 1-2 week out of the year there are many many answers on here about recruiting and brainwashing that are way off.
    – blankip
    Oct 13, 2021 at 16:25

In this interview, the writer/director makes it clear the numbers do not mean anything:

The original plan was to have 1,000 contestants:

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At the time, the largest ever cash prize in a lottery had been 40 billion won, so they decided to have their number to be around 400 because that would equal the csh prize amount.

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It isn't that clear on the screenshot (or even in the video), but he points out that 456 is flanked by 123 and 789:

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The only numbers with any "meaning" are 001 (being on the top of society) and 456 (being at the bottom of society), and one other player's number:

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That curse word is also used in one of the dialogues between 218 and 456.

Like the writer/director states: the numbers don't really have a lot of meaning:

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The only other number that isn't "random" is that of contestant 199:

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Simply put, the numbers have no significance or greater meaning. Basically, there are 456 players, and I believe that it is in order of when they had joined. I assume number 001 was the first to join meaning, number 456 (Seong Gi-hun) was the last. The man did say they were running out of spots. Seong Gi-hun must have taken the last spot.

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