Val Kilmer has introduced the trend of raffling off prizes to Thailand after offering off a statue of Buddha to Thai locals.

The movie star decided to throw a wrap party in Thailand after shooting part of new epic Alexander there with Angelina Jolie, Oliver Stone and COLIN FARRELL.

And to make the party extra special, he raffled off a giant Buddha.

He recalls, "The Thai people are so great. They're very spiritual people and I wanted to do something for the hotel we were staying in and the community.

"We found some local entertainment, and I thought, because there are all these Buddha stores everywhere, we got an eight foot (2.42 metres) Buddha that we raffled off, so that whoever won could donate it to a local temple.

"We were sort of nervous because they didn't like the idea of a raffle connected with Buddha at first, but then they got the idea that it was a gift and not gambling.

"This cinematographer's beautiful little daughter won. I think it might've been rigged. At the end of the night, people really wanted to win the Buddha."

15/03/2004 21:11