fukubukuro

A Japanese department store is offering anyone with a quarter of a million dollars a lucky dip bag stuffed with expensive jewellery to ring in the New Year.

One lucky customer prepared to hand over a numerically significant 20.12 million yen ($259,000) can celebrate the turn of the year with a fistful of precious baubles.

The “fukubukuro” (lucky bag) — a feature of the New Year in Japan, one of the country’s most important holidays — will go on sale on January 2.

Customers do not know the exact contents of fukubukuro, but they are usually bought on the understanding that the contents will be worth more than the sale price.

“We hope it will lift spirits for the New Year,” said an official at Okajima Department Store in Kofu, a city 100 kilometres (60 miles) west of Tokyo.

The store said the three pieces of jewellery — platinum rings featuring a 3.13-carat emerald and a 79.20-carat tourmaline, both glittering with diamonds, and a pendant with a 172.53-carat aquamarine — would normally retail at 50 million yen.