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Pavilions reward milestone visitors

FENG Weimin, 44, from east China's Anhui Province, spent 30 yuan yesterday morning to hire a tour bus at the Expo site to get him, his wife and daughter to the Saudi Arabia Pavilion ahead of other visitors. It felt a bit expensive to him.

But the investment proved worth it an hour later when he won two round-trip flights to Saudi Arabia as the 2 millionth visitor to the Saudi pavilion. Feng was rather stunned when the pavilion director presented him the certificate and the tickets.

A dozen Saudi dancers surrounded him, each taking a wooden stick to cross over the winner's head in a traditional Saudi wedding ritual called "mizmar."

Feng said he felt like he was in a dream.

"It was totally unexpected, because it was the first prize I won in my life," he said.

He said he will buy another flight ticket so that the family of three could go to the country together.

Or he might come to the pavilion again in October to try to be the 3-millionth visitor to the pavilion and win more tickets, he said.

Abdulhamid Hasan, the director, said he was happy, too, because the pavilion had passed another milestone. Earlier, it had presented two tickets to another Shanghai couple as the first millionth visitor to the pavilion.

He said he felt time was flying, with half of the Expo already gone.

"I will cherish more the rest of the time of the Expo and keep trying to cut waiting time for visitors," he said.

Also yesterday, the Lithuania Pavilion welcomed in its 3 millionth visitor, Zhang Huiguo from Zhejiang Province.

Aivaras Kriauciunas, Lithuanian commissioner general to the World Expo, said 3 million is a special figure for the country, because Lithuanian population is about 3 million. "This is an exciting moment," he said.

The 3-millionth visitor Zhang got a basketball and other gifts from the pavilion.

Lithuania will host the FIBA European Basketball Championship next year and basketball can be a bridge of friendship between people of different countries, Kriauciunas said.

The design of the Lithuania Pavilion in Zone C comes from flowers in bloom, symbolizing a vigorous, prosperous and booming country and its cities. The exhibition centers on the success stories of urban development, architectural and cultural heritage, natural protection, sports and scientific development, among others.


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