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China village builds £1.3 million 'money wall'

Cash windfall reportedly took villagers two days to distribute

Farmers in a southwest China village have used rectangular bales of cash to construct a money wall worth 13.1 million Yuan (£1.3 million) after an end-of-year cash bonus landed in the hands of local residents.

The cash was distributed to the 340 households in the Jianshe village, Liangshan Yi Autonomous Prefecture, who are shareholders of a rural cooperative that owns farm enterprises and investment companies, local newspaper Huaxi Metropolis Daily reported.

Chinese state media published images of grinning locals carrying bundles of money away on Tuesday.

The South China Morning Post said residents in the village have become rich after they invested in pig farms, hydroelectric energy and cherry growing. They are not directly involved with the co-operative, it said, but are still guaranteed an annual bonus.

It said some residents had been sleeping on bundles of cash and stashing their funds in pillows to prevent them from being stolen. One was quoted as noting that "it is not comfortable at all to sleep on cash."

This picture taken on 14 January, 2014 shows villagers standing by a two-metre-long "money wall" built with cash for their year-end bonus at Jianshe village of Lianshan municipality, southwest China's Sichuan province.

The cash windfall reportedly took villagers two days to distribute.

“It took me so long to count the money that I almost lost strength and feeling in my hands,” the SCMP quoted villager Jin Ou, who received around 300,000 Yuan (£30,379) as saying.

The bonuses come shortly before Chinese New Year, which is celebrated at the end of this month.