By The Nation
The wooden shrine at kilometre marker 186-187 outside U-Tapao International Airport fence, disappeared on Wednesday morning and a Bodhi tree was felled and taken away.
Rumours say an influential underground lottery player had the shrine removed out of anger that some people who prayed there had won several bets in a row. It has also been reported that highway officials removed the roadside shrine for fear of road accidents.
However, hundreds of believers continued to visit the site, believing that the spirit has stayed although the shrine has gone.
They continued to visit the site until Saturday morning as the lottery draw will be made in the afternoon.
With the presence of hundreds of believes each day, some 10 lottery vendors put up temporary stalls to sell tickets.
When the shrine was removed, a set of bamboo cylinders with numeral sticks inside for consulting the spirit, were also taken away. But believers said they spotted sticks number 8 and 18 left behind so the lottery tickets with last digits of 8 and 18 were bought up at the stalls.
Believers prayed to the spirit by giving it toy banknotes featuring an old Japanese super hero, "Gamo". They called the shrine the "Gamo" shrine because the shrine was once decorated with Gamo toy banknotes and they believe someone won a lottery and did it to return their debt of gratitude.