Manitoba

1st round of Manitoba vaccine lottery winners to be revealed Tuesday

Manitobans will soon find out who's taking home cash prizes and scholarship money as part of the province’s lottery for those who got vaccinated against COVID-19.

Winners of draw for those who got partially vaccinated by Aug. 2 have already been notified

The winners of the first of two Vax to Win lottery draws will be announced Tuesday, a spokesperson for Manitoba Liquor & Lotteries said in an email. (Peter Scobie/CBC)

Manitobans will soon find out who's taking home cash prizes and scholarship money as part of the province's lottery for those who got vaccinated against COVID-19.

The official announcement of the winners of the first of two Vax to Win lottery draws is scheduled for Tuesday, a spokesperson for Manitoba Liquor & Lotteries said in an email.

A spokesperson for the province said a media advisory with more details about that announcement will be sent out on Monday morning.

The province announced in early June it would dole out $1.9 million in cash and scholarships as a way to encourage people to get a COVID-19 vaccine, with the first draw selected from people who got their first dose by Aug. 2. 

People 18 and up are entered to win one of three $100,000 prizes in the Winnipeg health region and one prize of the same amount in each of the province's other regions. Those age 12 to 17 will be entered to win one of 10 $25,000 scholarships.

Everyone 12 and older who got a vaccine was automatically eligible to win, unless they opted out.

The names for the first draw were pulled on Aug. 9 at the Liquor, Gaming and Cannabis Authority's offices by local lottery company Funding Change. 

"Given the magnitude of the lottery, it was important to work with an experienced, licensed provider," the Liquor & Lotteries spokesperson said in an email.

"Funding Change was chosen as they are a Manitoba-based digital lottery service provider, licensed by the LGCA to operate in Manitoba and equipped to securely deal with the unique circumstances of the Vax to Win lottery."

Officials from Manitoba Health, Manitoba Liquor & Lotteries and the LGCA, as well as auditors from KPMG, were in attendance. Winners have already been notified.

Transparent process

Funding Change CEO and co-founder Nicholas Tenszen said while the company's system was already able to conduct a lottery of this size, his staff made some changes to make the process as transparent as possible.

Those in attendance were shown the process and could ask questions about it, he said.

While the end product was the same, the new process "was more like instead of just going to the grocery store and buying some carrots … they were going to the farm and watching them get pulled out from the ground and cleaned off and chosen and selected and then packaged and then delivered," Tenszen said.

The company didn't see any personal information about the winners. Manitoba Health took the draw results and determined their identities.

"For us, it was just an arbitrary string of numbers and letters," Tenszen said.

Those who work directly with the lottery and their immediate families aren't eligible to win. Neither are members of the Legislative Assembly.

The rules of Manitoba's vaccine lottery say winners need to consent to the publication of their name and health region to claim their prize.

"As with all lotteries and raffles conducted in Manitoba, a winner's name must be made public to provide transparency and preserve the integrity of the lottery draw," the province's lottery website says.

"When a winner's name is made public, it verifies that prizes have been won and shows that winners can come from every walk of life."

A second draw is also scheduled for those who get their second dose of vaccine by Sept. 6. The date for that draw hasn't been announced yet.

With files from Caitlyn Gowriluk

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