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Expanded octets usually occur for phosphorus, sulfur, chlorine, and silicon. The number of electrons that a molecule with an expanded octet usually depends on the total number of valence electrons present in the entire molecule and the overall charge of the molecule. An expanded octet usually occurs to create the most stable molecule.
As others are saying it depends on the molecule, but row 3 and beyond can have more than 8. I know that phosphorous can have up to 10, and so on, but any molecule in the d block can technically have up to 18. However that is rare.
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