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Japan Luck Race Won By Student

A student has beaten more than 4,500 runners in an annual dawn race around the Nishinomiya shrine in central Japan.

Japanese mythology says that the winner of the 230-metre race will be blessed with a year of good luck.

And if that was not reward enough, this year’s winner Yuto Doi, 18, was also given a 12-month supply of Ebisu beer, despite Japan’s legal drinking age of 20.

The gracious victor Doi was happy to share his luck around.

He said: "I wish my victory brings fortune to people around me so that they all become happy."

Doi added: "My biggest wish now is that all my school mates enter colleges they want to go to."

Although there could only be one winner of the race, the first two runners-up did not leave empty handed.

Second place received a barrel of rice and third place was given a grilled whole sea bream, which are symbols of luck according to Japanese folklore.