Want a chance to win $2M? Quebec launches lottery to encourage COVID vaccinations

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Quebec is offering $2 million in cash prizes and student bursaries to encourage more people to get vaccinated against COVID-19.

Health Minister Christian Dube and Finance Minister Eric Girard made the announcement today at the Montreal headquarters of state-owned gaming commission Loto-Quebec.

Girard told reporters the lottery system will be split into prizes for adults and for children aged 12 to 17, who will need to register on the government's online vaccine-appointment portal to be eligible to win.

He says the government will draw names every Friday in August, and the grand prize will be drawn Sept. 3, adding that any vaccinated Quebecers can start registering to be part of the lottery on July 25, regardless of when they received their shots.

Adults who have had at least one dose will be eligible to win a weekly cash prize of $150,000, and adults with two doses will be eligible to win the grand prize of $600,000 on Sept. 3.

Children aged 12 to 17 with one dose of COVID-19 vaccine will be eligible each Friday in August to win two student bursaries worth $10,000 each, and fully vaccinated children will be in the running for 16 bursaries worth $20,000 each for the final draw on Sept. 3.

Meanwhile, health officials are reporting 83 new COVID-19 cases today and three more deaths attributed to the novel coronavirus, none of which occurred in the past 24 hours.

Officials say hospitalizations rose by three, to 84, and 25 people were in intensive care, a rise of two.

More than 82 per cent of Quebecers 12 and older have received a first dose of COVID-19 vaccine and 52 per cent are considered adequately vaccinated.

The province says 99,852 COVID-19 vaccine doses were administered Thursday.