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KOBE (Kyodo) Kobe firefighter Tetsu Toyama, 24, was stamped 2009’s “man of fortune” on Saturday after outrunning more than 100 other men to win the annual good luck sprint at Nishinomiya Shrine in Hyogo Prefecture.

Nishinomiya Shrine honors Ebessan, god of commerce, who is worshipped to bring prosperity to merchants. According to legend, the first person to arrive at the shrine on Jan. 10 will be blessed with a year of good luck.

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