As I mentioned before on this blog (including this post), Japanese people send friends and family 年賀状 (New Years postcards) every year and each of these postcards has a unique six digit serial number on the back lower-right-hand corner.
This number is for the annual お年玉 (Japan Postal New Years lottery drawing).
Every year in late January, the post office announces seven sets of winning numbers.
This year’s winning numbers were announced today.
— First Place (with a 1 in one-million chance of winning) postcards with the number 651694.
People who have a card with this number can choose a prize of either a digital TV,
or a bicycle
— Second Place (with a 3 in one-million chance of winning) has winning numbers of either: 403580, 228949, or 022471.
These prizes are a choice of a wii Game set,
a digital camera and digital frame set,
a domestic trip (with hotel, dinner, and lunch), or
a coffee maker.
— Third Place (1 in 10,000 chance) are cards with the last four digits of 8363.
The prize is a choice from a large variety of foods.
— Fourth Place (2 in 100 chance) are cards with the last two digits of either 69 or 02.
The prize is two Japanese postage stamps with pictures of a rabbit (2011 is “The Year of the Rabbit”).
Last year (2010), I had a post card with the winning number for a set of two stamps with pictures of a tiger (2010 was “the Year of the Tiger”)…and this year I have two postcards with winning numbers for stamps again.
Maybe one year we’ll win one of the big prizes.