Walter Yeh (2nd R), president of the pavilion, awards the Taiwan Pavilion's 100,000th visitor (3rd R) in the Taiwan Pavilion, at the Shanghai World Expo Site, May 25, 2010. [Photo/Sina.com.cn]
A 63-year-old retiree from Hunan province won a 12,000-yuan (US$1,757) LCD television Wednesday for being the Taiwan Pavilion's 100,000th visitor since it opened during the Expo test operation.
Lucky Liu Yunxiang said he would visit Taiwan with his 59-year-old wife next month to return the pavilion's hospitality.
"I told the staff they had the wrong person when I heard I'd won the prize," he said.
The couple telephoned their daughter after receiving the prize from the pavilion president. They said they would give her the television and recommend she and her family visit the Taiwan Pavilion.
Liu arrived in Shanghai on Monday with a tour group of 60 people. The couple waited for an hour to enter the Taiwan Pavilion.
"Apart from the national pavilion of China, the Taiwan Pavilion is the one that we most wanted to visit," said Liu.
The Taiwan Pavilion will present more prizes, including computers and other products from its sponsor companies, to every subsequent 100,000th visitor to the pavilion, said Walter Yeh, president of the pavilion.
He said the activity was to help sponsors by giving their brands greater exposure to Expo visitors.
The total value of the prizes is more than US$3.12 million.
The pavilion gets 4,000 visitors a day and groups of only 40 people are admitted each time.
So, the 200,000th lucky visitor is expected to go through around June 19.
The other 39 visitors in the same group as the winner will also receive some smaller prizes such as audio speakers.
Yeh said the pavilion had no plan to increase the daily capacity to ensure "the best experience" for every visitor.
Staff allocate 3,000 tickets at 9:30am and another 1,000 at 6pm at the pavilion entrance every day. Long queues are common in front of the pavilion and the area where the tickets are distributed.
Wu Mingzhi, 78, sat on a bench at the ticket distribution area at 1:30pm Wednesday to wait for tickets that would be given out more than four hours later.
A dozen other visitors were ahead of her. "I worry I cannot get the ticket if I come later," Wu said.
The 658-square-meter pavilion - designed by C. Y. Lee, designer of Taipei 101, one of the world's tallest skyscrapers - shows a 4-minute movie about Taiwan's scenery and wildlife and visitors can participate in repeats of the lantern-flying ceremony.