Published: May 28, 2012 8:45 AM EDT
Updated: May 29, 2012 6:30 AM EDT

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) - The World Wide Web has inspired a bidding war in Malaysia - on license plates.

When the prefix "WWW" became available on this Southeast Asian country's plates, more than 18,000 people submitted bids. The Road Transport Department said Monday that the most coveted plate, "WWW1," sold for a record 520,000 ringgit ($165,600) to Malaysian royal state leader Sultan Ibrahim Ismail.

The constitutional leader of Malaysia's southern Johor state is reputedly a car enthusiast.

Officials estimate the successful WWW bids will earn the transport department 11.3 million ringgit ($3.6 million).

The previous highest sum paid for a license plate in Malaysia was 300,100 ringgit ($95,600) in 2010 for MCA1, the acronym for a national political party.