A lucky Alberta resident has won the first $1-million prize in the province’s COVID-19 vaccine lottery. Tracey McIvor of Langdon, Alta. had the honor of being the first recipient of the incentive that still has two $1-million draws left to give.
In an interview with Global News, McIvor recalled how he was playing the ninth hole of a round of golf when the surprising call came through. He also admitted that the news of his win threw off his game for a couple of holes after the ninth.
“It feels kind of surreal, to be honest with you, it doesn’t feel real in a lot of ways. But now that we’re sharing it with some friends and family, it’s starting to sink in and it’s pretty exciting,” he said.
McIvor shared that he and his wife had received their first vaccinations earlier in the spring and that he thinks the lottery is a perfect way to raise awareness about immunization. The couple signed up the day that registration opened.
“For me, it was about protecting myself, but really it’s about our friends, our family, and the people that we love. I wanted to make sure that that was something that we did for all of them, because the evidence is, this is helping, especially during this terrible time. And so I would say go and get vaccinated. Definitely enter the lottery, you never know what can come of that,” he said.
McIvor said that he and his family plan to use the money wisely while also giving back to their community and planning a few trips for the near future.
The province is also dishing out a few Calgary Stampede prizes to other newly-vaccinated Albertans Officials and revealed that the winners will be notified when their names are drawn.
“Thanks to the Open for Summer Lottery, it pays to get vaccinated, in more ways than one. While I know Albertans will enjoy these prizes, with greater vaccine protection against COVID-19 than ever before, we all win. Congratulations to today’s winners, we are all celebrating with you as we lift restrictions and open for summer,” Premier Jason Kenney announced in a news release.
72.8 per cent of Albertans have currently received at least one dose of vaccine, and 42.4 per cent are fully vaccinated with two doses.
The Health Minister, Tyler Shandro said,
“Lotteries may be about the luck of the draw, but we can control how protected we are against COVID-19. Getting two doses of vaccine significantly decreases your chance of infection, so I continue to encourage Albertans to book their appointments as soon as possible.”
The other prizes that the province is handing out to single-dose recipients include NHL and CFL prize packs, and a round of golf at the Kananaskis Country Golf Course.
To stand in line to win the two other $1 million lottery prizes and smaller awards, including travel packages from WestJet and Air Canada, Albertans must have received two doses of vaccine.
Alberta initiated Phase 3 of its Open for Summer plan on July 1, lifting virtually all public health restrictions. Restaurants may now operate at full capacity, and the limits on indoor or outdoor gatherings, weddings and other celebrations have been lifted.