Two people were killed and at least 20 others injured when government lottery tickets went on sale throughout Japan early on Tuesday (21 December) morning.
GV Crowd gathered outside lottery office in Tokyo, Japan (3 shots)
CU People clamouring to buy lottery tickets (4 shots)
GV Injured people being carried away in Fukuoka (2 shots)
GV Policeman using loudhailer PAN TO crowds in street
SV People being restrained by riot police (3 shots)
SV Woman hitting police officer in Osaka
CU Police putting out fire
SV Women comforting small child amidst rubbish left by mob
AERIAL VIEW of aftermath
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Background: Two people were killed and at least 20 others injured when government lottery tickets went on sale throughout Japan early on Tuesday (21 December) morning.
SYNOPSIS: Thousands of people stormed the lottery counters that were set up in 7,300 locations -- hoping to become instant millionaires for the price of a few tickets, on sale at 100 yen (about 30 U.S. cents) each. 40 first prizes of 10 million yen (about 3,300 U.S. dollars) are being offered -- and the possibility of winning so much money produced the chaotic situations that followed.
The draw will not take place at the town of Fukuoka, where 30,000 people stampeded a small ticket counter when it opened at three o'clock in the morning local time. During the mayhem a 42-year old man died of a heart attack and four others were injured.
Riot police were called out in efforts to restore order -- and ticket sales were again temporarily suspended. And it's not even as if the lottery was something new.
It is in fact an annual year-end event, but has never before attracted such fanatical interest -- and aggression. In the city of Osaka, the Ogimachi Park area resembled the aftermath of a battleground after police had brought rampaging crowds under control.
Sales were halted one hour after opening and when they are resumed, heavy police cordons are being mounted around the booths in attempts to keep Japan's lottery fever in check.