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Seven Manitobans receive $100,000 in COVID-19 vaccine lottery

Province brought in the incentive in June as a way to encourage people to get vaccinated
People register for their appointments at Manitoba’s COVID-19 vaccination centre in a soccer complex in north Winnipeg on May 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/John Woods

Seven Manitobans have become $100,000 richer with the province’s announcement of the first set of winners in its Vax to Win lottery.

The province brought in the incentive in June as a way to encourage people to get vaccinated. It put up a total of $2 million in prizes, broken down by health regions, as well as scholarships for youth 12 to 17 years old.

Tuesday’s winners were people who received their first dose on or before Aug. 2.

The next lottery deadline is Sept. 6 for people who are fully vaccinated on or before that date. Winners are to be announced later that month.

The 10 winners of the $25,000 scholarships have also been drawn and are to be revealed on Aug. 23.

Trent Fingler, one of the cash prize winners in the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority, gave a pointed speech at the announcement about his reasons for getting vaccinated.

“I trust the scientific and medical personnel who have dedicated their life’s work to understanding and preventing these diseases. They understand it better than the mass majority of people on this planet, and they’re trying their absolute best to make it possible that we can return to some amount of normalcy,” Fingler said Tuesday.

He added that he wants to use his win as an opportunity to encourage others to understand the science behind vaccines, and recommends if others still have concerns to talk to a trusted medical professional.

Fingler, 22, said he appreciates the cash prize but the news hadn’t “really set in.”

He said has no plans for the winnings at this time.

—The Canadian Press

RELATED: Alberta launches COVID vaccine lottery with million-dollar prizes to encourage uptake