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PHUKET: The strawberry drinks set out by locals to score winning lottery ticket numbers from an unlucky section of road, which was once home to a very lucky tree, are being drunk by either a ‘daytime’ spirit or just a bum, depending on who you speak to.

The offerings, normally nam daeng (‘strawberry drink’), are usually left by people seeking winning lottery numbers, Dailynews.com reports.

“There used to be a 100-year-old tree there that local people worshiped,” says Preecha Pipatpol of the Sawang Rojjana Thamsatan Rescue Foundation. “They tied colorful fabric around it to worship the tree spirit. Many times people won the lottery when they picked numbers from the tree.

“But then the illegal lottery sellers were angry and set the tree on fire.”

After the tree was burned down a road was built but locals believed the spot was unlucky.

“A lot of accidents happened on the road near the site of the old tree, so people believe that the spirits are still around,” said Mr Preecha.

After the story circulated on social media sites, the mystery was solved when photos of what appeared to be a homeless man drinking the beverages were shared.

Although the photos show where the missing drinks have gone, some people believe that the man is merely a spirit who comes out during the day.

— Chutharat Plerin