Manitoba hopes to spur COVID-19 vaccination through a lottery offering nearly $2 million in cash and scholarships to those who roll up their sleeve for the shots.
Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister and Manitoba Liquor & Lotteries CEO Manny Atwal announced the lottery Wednesday morning.
“Vaccination is the fastest way to overcome COVID-19 and safely restore our services and activities,” said Pallister in a release.
“Urgency is important. We need Manitobans to get vaccinated to protect each other and protect our health-care system. The sooner we get vaccinated, the sooner we can get our lives back. This lottery gives Manitobans even more reasons to roll up their sleeves – not once, but twice.”
Pallister said the province plans on holding two lottery draws over the summer, and all Manitobans aged 12 and up who have received at least one dose of vaccine on or before Aug. 2 will be eligible for the first draw.
The second draw will be open to everyone 12 and up who’ve received two doses on or before Sept. 6.
The province says each lottery draw will award:
three prizes of $100,000 in the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority (excluding Churchill);
a $100,000 prize in each of the remaining regional health authorities: Prairie Mountain Health, Southern Health–Santé Sud, Interlake–Eastern Regional Health Authority and Northern Regional Health Authority (including Churchill); and
10 draws for $25,000 scholarships for young people aged 12 to 17 across the province, for a total of $250,000.
All Manitobans who have been immunized with either a first or second dose are automatically entered into the lottery for a chance to win, and Manitoba Liquor & Lotteries will be responsible for running the contests, Atwal said. A third-party auditor will provide additional oversight, he added.
“Trust and accountability are an integral part of every lottery, and we will ensure that all Manitobans can have confidence in the fairness and integrity of this process,” said Atwal.
“As we have seen in other jurisdictions, lotteries can act as an incentive to encourage vaccination. We are proud of our role in the goal to get as many Manitobans immunized as quickly as possible.”
A provincial website with details of the lottery says Manitobans living outside of the province will still be able to enter the lottery, provided they report their immunizations to Manitoba Health, either through email or their local health office.