Manitoba will award 14 $100,000 prizes and 20 $25,000 scholarships through two lotteries for all of the province’s residents who are partially or fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by early August and early September.
Each of the two draws of the lottery, announced June 9, will see one prize awarded in the Northern Regional Health Authority area and Churchill (which is administered by the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority) and one each in the southern, Interlake-Eastern and Prairie Mountain health regions as well as three in the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority.
The scholarships will be for youth aged 12 to 17 across the province.
Anyone 12 and up who receives their first dose of COVID vaccine on or before Aug. 2 will be entered in the first draw. The second draw will be for everyone 12 and over who has received two doses by Sept. 6.
“Vaccination is the fastest way to overcome COVID-19 and safely restore our services and activities,” said Premier Brian Pallister in a news 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.”
Anyone who has already been immunized is automatically eligible though they can opt out if they choose. People who have been vaccinated outside the province can ensure their eligibility by reporting their vaccination to a public health office.
A process to ensure information used to determine draw eligibility remains protected is in place and the lottery will be run by Manitoba Liquor & Lotteries, with a third-party auditor providing additional oversight.
“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 Manitoba Liquor & Lotteries CEO Manny 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.”