WINNIPEG — The Manitoba government is launching a multi-million dollar COVID-19 vaccine lottery to incentivize more people to get the shot.
The lottery will award nearly $2 million in cash and scholarships to individuals who receive their COVID-19 vaccine.
All Manitobans aged 12 and up who have received at least one dose of vaccine by August 2 will be eligible for the first draw. All Manitobans aged 12 and up who have received two doses by September 6 will be eligible for the second draw of the summer.
Anyone who has been immunized by these deadlines will automatically be entered.
Each draw will award:
- Three prizes of $100,000 in the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority (excluding Churchill), for a total of $300,000
- One $100,000 prize in each of these regional health authorities, for a total of $400,000: Prairie Mountain Health, Southern Health, Interlake-Eastern Regional Health Authority, and Northern Regional Health Authority (including Churchill)
- 10 $25,000 scholarships for young people aged 12 to 17 across the province, for a total of $250,000
The lottery will be conducted by Manitoba Liquor & Lotteries and a third-party auditor will provide additional oversight.
Prizes awarded in each health authority will be paid in lumpsum payments. Further details on the scholarship prizes are forthcoming.
“I’m not a big fan of gambling and that’s why I think this draw makes such good sense,” Premier Brian Pallister said Wednesday. “Because you’re gambling with COVID if you’re not getting a vaccination.”
Vaccine uptake in Manitoba has been steady _ two-thirds of people 12 and older have received at least one dose. But there are some spots where the rate is much lower, including the core area of Winnipeg and some rural regions south of the capital.
Health officials have said that while some people are hesitant about getting a vaccine, others may have barriers in terms of mobility or by being in marginalized groups.
— With files from The Canadian Press