City hands manhole covers to lottery-picked buyers
NHK -- Oct 06
The sale of old manhole covers by a city north of Tokyo has attracted many buyers amid the growing popularity in the metal lids featuring designs inspired by local landmarks and specialties.

Maebashi City in Gunma Prefecture became the first municipality to sell its used manhole covers. It came up with the idea as a measure to promote the city.

On Wednesday, the city handed 10 manhole covers to their buyers, who were chosen in a lottery among around 200 applicants.

Each cover measures 60 centimeters in diameter and weighs 40 kilograms. The covers are of 3 different designs, including one with roses, which are designated as the city's symbol flower. Each was priced at 3,000 yen, or around 27 dollars.

The buyers who came to receive their manhole covers at a water purification plant in the city included residents of Tokyo and Aichi, central Japan.

不要になった使用済みのマンホールのふたが驚きの売れ行きだ。 4日は中秋の名月。人々のお目当てはまん丸のマンホール。前橋市が不要となった使用済みマンホールを1枚3000円で売り出したところ、申し込みが殺到。限定10枚に対して倍率はなんと19倍を超えた。
News sources: NHK, ANNnewsCH
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