TURNER, Maine — It was meant mostly as a gag.

Desmond Duguay found a piece of candy that looked kind of like the Virgin Mary and he thought: Why not sell it on eBay?

A day and a half later, bids for the sugary morsel were up to $200 and rising by the minute.

“It was really just a joke between me and my wife,” Desmond said Wednesday. “It just kind of snowballed.”

It’s been quite a week for Desmond and Amy Duguay. It started on Feb. 20, when Amy gave birth to a baby boy. Add lack of sleep and a taste for candy to the mix and you’ve got a story going viral on the Internet.

It began at Rite Aid, where the Duguays went shopping for snacks. Desmond picked up a box of Dots, gummy candy commonly found at movie theaters.

Desmond threw a Dot in his mouth and ate it. He had eaten a few of the candies when his fingers settled on an orange piece.

“I looked down as I was about to eat it,” Desmond said. “I told my wife, ‘This kind of looks like the Virgin Mary.’ She said, ‘No. You’re crazy.’ But then she saw it, too.”

They joked back and forth about it before Desmond bet his wife he could sell the iconic Dot on eBay.

“The bet was that I could sell it for $10,” he said.

By late Wednesday afternoon, bidding was up over $200 on the online auction site. By 4 p.m., 38 people had placed bids.

Desmond stressed that he isn’t trying to exploit anyone’s emotions or vulnerabilities. He and his wife were just having fun with it, although he admits the money would come in handy with a newborn.

The product description reads: “So I was eating a box of DOTS today and I found none other than the Virgin Mary herself just chillin’ with her other DOT disciples. Just last week my wife and I had our first child and I am convinced that a higher power has stepped in and literally dumped a second miracle in our lap in the form of this Gummy Virgin Mary. A miracle that will no doubt equate to millions of dollars and our child’s college tuition bought and paid for.

“I know that this Gummy Virgin Mary is near priceless and that if I held onto it, it would only appreciate in value. Having just had my beautiful son though I need to be thinking about his future and must let this miracle gummy go and put all proceeds into my son’s college fund. This is a 100 percent authentic Gummy Virgin Mary, that may or may not have mystical and spiritual powers. All I can say is that since I have had this gummy in my possession I have not contracted any viruses, sexually transmitted diseases, or illnesses that I know of and I feel amazing. Is this due to the Gummy Virgin Mary? I think so.”

Desmond had no idea where the bidding would go. The auction runs through March 8. He and his wife, Desmond said, are still a little stunned by the way things have developed.

How has a joke between husband and wife become such weird news that’s still a little bit funny?

“We haven’t had much sleep lately,” he said. “Maybe it’s sleep deprivation.”

The eBay auction can be found here.