RIGA- Riga came out on top of 68 cities of the world and has been includedin the new version of Monopoly board game.
In an online voting poll of cities to be included in the game, Rigaranked second, with Montreal comingin first.
"Riga is a wonderful citywith friendly people. Now people from across the world will learn about Riga,"said Hasbro Games vice-president George Burtch.
He said that Latvian ex-president Vaira Vike-Freiberga earned her doctor'sdegree at McGillUniversityin Montreal, the city which was atthe top of the voting list. Montrealand Riga will be located on themost prestigious spaces on the board -- the blue ones, said Burtch.
Riga has left behind some of theworld's largest cities as Hong Kong, London,Paris, Beijing, New York, Rome Sydney in the dust.
A total of 22 cities have been included in the new version of Monopoly.
The board game will be on sale starting from August 26 and will cost 37 lats(EUR 52). It will be published in 50 countries and 37 languages, includingLatvian.
For more than a month people were able to cast their votes on the city theywanted to be included in the special version of Monopoly game.
Edzus Jasenovics, the marketing head of Hasbro's official dealer in LatviaAnvol, said that initially Riga wasat the bottom of the list, but later a campaign helped to get the necessarynumber of votes.
Riga City Council vice-mayor Almers Ludviks said that the Monopoly is one oforiginal chances to promote the name of Rigain the world.
"The vote shows that Rigais a metropolis of the Baltics and we are able to stand side by side with Paris, New York, London,Rome. I would like to thank eachLatvian resident for responsiveness and contribution by actively casting theirvotes for Riga," said Ludviks.
In September, October 2009, the Monopoly world championship will be held in Las Vegas, and the selection of Latvian candidates will beginearly next year.