The lives of Seven Manitoba residents have been significantly enriched after they were named as the first winners in the province’s Vax to Win lottery.
Kerry Maskiew, Garth Deleske, and Trent Fingler from Winnipeg, Jacqueline Martel from the Southern Health–Santé Sud health region, John Lyons from Prairie Mountain, Dustin McDuffe from Interlake Eastern, and Bernell Lavallee of Northern Health were named as the lucky recipients of $100,000 each, following the draw.
The lottery boasts an almost $2 million prize pool to be split up into cash prizes and scholarship awards and was initiated to incentivise Manitobans to get the vaccine.
This draw is the first of two and was open to Manitobans aged 12 and up who had received at least one vaccine dose on or before August 2. Locals aged 12 and up who have received two doses on or before September 6 will be in line for the second draw.
Crown services minister Jeff Wharton commented, saying,
“First and foremost I would like to thank the hundreds of thousands of people who have done their part and have been vaccinated as we responded to COVID-19 together. I would like to congratulate not only the winners, but everyone who has been immunized, you have helped protect yourself, your loved ones and our province.”
One of the winners, Trent Figler, said that the prize draw was not what pushed him to get the vaccine.
“I got vaccinated because I trust the scientific and medical personnel who have dedicated their life’s work to understanding and preventing this disease. They understand it better than the vast 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,” he said.
He added, “The amount of misinformation is not only a little irritating to just the person day-to-day, but it’s legitimately dangerous moving forward. If you look for misinformation, you’re going to find it.”
All-in-all, six $100,000 prizes will be awarded in Winnipeg and a further eight across the other Manitoba health regions. Additionally, 20 draws for $25,000 scholarships for individuals aged between 12 and 17 will take place.