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MISAWA AIR BASE, Japan — An estimated 5,000 customers poured into Misawa’s base exchange last week for the inaugural “Midnight Madness” holiday sale, according to Army and Air Force Exchange Service officials.

“We had 3,000 people that went through the register,” said Mike Patmon, the exchange’s AAFES sales and merchandise manager. “It took about 20 minutes to get the first initial crowd through the door.”

The sale was to go from 9 p.m. to midnight Friday, but the last customers weren’t rung up until after 1:30 a.m., Patmon said. Checkout lines were from 50 to 75 people deep.

“I expected a lot of people, but I don’t think anyone expected as many people as we got,” he said.

Patmon said the store sold about 3,000 items in three hours and gave away about $4,000 in prizes, from a 48-inch JVC television to a treadmill.

Customers who wore pajamas to the exchange received an extra 10 percent discount.

The sale likely will be repeated during the holidays next year, Patmon said, but the success of the inaugural sale has led AAFES officials to plan a summer “Midnight Madness” sale as well — although “probably with a bathing suit theme” instead of pajamas.

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