Happy New Year!
By now you should have received nengajo (年賀状) / New Year Cards in your mailbox. Nengajyo are the equivalent to the Western custom of sending out Christmas cards. The latest date nengajo are delivered by is January 7th. If you have received a card from someone you did not send one to, it is customary to send one in return within the first week of the year. If you`ve run out of New Year`s card don`t worry, stop by the nearest convenience store or post office and pick one up. *If you think the nengajyo will arrive at the destination post January 7th it is customary to send a special winter greeting card instead.
Nengajyo not only helps express your gratitude towards and keep in touch with family, friends and colleagues, it also enable receivers to win prizes in a nation-wide lottery. Located on the lower right hand corner of most New Year Postcards is a six-digit number. In mid-January, Japan post selects random numbers, similar to a New Year Postal Lottery. If you match any of those number you can win a prize (100,000 yen cash, travel, electronics, food or stamps).
“According to NHK, the idea of combining nengajo with a lottery started in 1949, when the price of a postcard was 2 yen. In the years right after the war, the exchange of nenga-hagaki took on special meaning, since it was a good way to inform friends and relatives that you were still alive and where you were. The lottery, which is called otoshidama, the term for New Years gifts of cash given to children, made it even more appealing, because so many people had nothing at the time, so the prizes were for the most part practical: sewing machines, skeins of wool, bolts of fabric. As Japanese society became more affluent, the prizes became more aspirational: TV sets and other high-end home appliances, or coupons for international or domestic travel.” – Yen for Living
The 2019 Nengajyo lottery numbers will be announced on Sunday, January 20th via newspaper, tv and on the Japan Post website. Check the number on the back to see if you’ve won. If you have, bring the winning postcard and ID to a post office by May 17, 2019 to claim your prize. Note First and Second prizes will be mailed to your home. Good Luck!
2019 Nengajyo Lottery Numbers (TBD)
|Special Prize||Percentage of winnings|
(number of winnings)
|Tokyo 2020 Tournament Support Award||Win a pair of tickets to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games||One in ten million cards|
|2019 Prizes||Percentage of winnings|
(number of winnings)
All six digits need to match
|300,000 yen Cash or a premium prize|
equivalent to the same amount
|One in one million cards|
Only the last four digits need to match
|Furusato parcels||One in 10,000|
Only the last two digits need to match
|New Year stamp sheet||Three in 100|
* 2019 is a special year that turns into a new era! As a double chance award, Japan Post will carry out the second drawing on Saturday, April 20, 2019 – the postal anniversary day. Prizes are special stamps (10,000 winnings), special specification with serial number included.
Japan Post Nengajyo (New Years Postcard) Lottery
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