If you got any new year cards this winter, be sure to keep your cards and check to see if you won any prizes in the lottery.
Most nengajyo are purchased with postage and a lottery number printed on them. The lottery numbers are six numbers long and usually at the bottom of the postcard along with the words, お年玉 (o toshi dama, the same name as the red envelope new year gifts kids receive with money in them).
Japan Post is giving three types of prizes for the nengajyo lottery. The most common one (one chance in 50) is a set of two stamps, which is awarded to anyone with the last two of the six numbers matching either of the two numbers picked.
The winning numbers for 2017 are both 45 and 51.
The middle prize (1 winner in 10,000) is a 'furosato' or hometown prize, which is something like products made locally in Japan, sometimes for each specific prefecture. These are awarded to people with the (last four) numbers 6470 this year.
The grand prize (one in a million) is 100,000 yen cash or a vacation set, awarded to those who have the numbers 293633.
Winning numbers are announced around the middle of January (usually between the 15th-the 19th) and are shown on the Japan Post website here (Japanese only). You'll have around six months to take any winning nengajyo to the post office to claim prizes.
Did you win anything this year?
I won stamps! Woo, and that's only out of four postcards received, quite lucky.