BREAKING NEWS

Thousands of people have taken part in an early morning race at a shrine in western Japan to become this year's "luckiest man."

The race is held on the morning of January 10 every year at Nishinomiya Shrine in Hyogo Prefecture. The shrine is dedicated to Ebisu, the god of prosperity.

About 5,000 people were waiting outside the shrine before dawn on Friday. When the gate opened to the sound of drums at 6 a.m., competitors dashed to the main hall, roughly 230 meters away, to become the first "luckiest man" of the Reiwa era.

This year's winner is 33-year-old Yusuke Kurogi, a high school physical education teacher from Sakai City, Osaka Prefecture.

The runners who came second and third were also crowned "lucky men."

The winner said he was surprised by his achievement. He added that he is looking forward to a successful year and hopes to share his good luck with other people.

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