The Alberta government announced Thursday that a woman from Calgary has won the second $1-million prize in a lottery designed to encourage people to get vaccinated against COVID-19.
The province said Amie Gee’s name was drawn from over 1.85 million entries in its second of three million-dollar draws for its Open for Summer Lottery. The government said 42 others have won travel prizes donated by Air Canada, WestJet, and the Rocky Mountaineer and Juniper Hotel.
“Congratulations to Amie, and all of the other winners,” Premier Jason Kenney said in a news release.
“I encourage Albertans who haven’t gotten their second dose to do so as soon as possible to qualify for the final draw at the end of September!”
The prizes were announced as Alberta is mired in the fourth wave of the pandemic with the numbers of COVID-19 cases surging and hospitalization and ICU numbers rising as well.
On Thursday, Alberta Health announced it had identified 1,339 new COVID-19 cases in the past 24 hours, the province’s highest one-day total of new COVID-19 cases since mid-May.
The government released a video of Kenney congratulating and speaking to Gee. “You know Amie, one of the challenges we have with the vaccine program amongst younger adults… What would you say to your peers in your kind of age group about the importance of getting vaccinated?” Kenney asks Gee in the video.
Gee replies to Kenney that she believes “it’s not just about us” and getting vaccinated is part of ensuring other members of the community are protected.
“Unfortunately we’re seeing more COVID patients coming back to the hospitals with this Delta variant but they are overwhelmingly — over 90 per cent — people who are not vaccinated… And a lot of them are in a young age group — between 20 and 40, 20 and 50,” Kenney says in the video, adding that he would be grateful if Gee could offer any encouragement to young Albertans who have yet to be vaccinated.
“Yeah, as many people as can get it, the better off we’ll be (and) the sooner we’ll be out of this,” she replies.
In the video, Gee adds that she has not yet decided what to do with the money but hopes she can use it to “bring a little joy.”
On Thursday, the province said 70 per cent of eligible Albertans 12 and older have now received both of their doses of a COVID-19 vaccine through Alberta Health Services, community pharmacies and physician offices.
The province said a total of 78.2 per cent of eligible Albertans 12 and older have now received at least one dose.
Any adult Alberta resident who has had two doses of an approved COVID-19 vaccine is eligible to be entered into a draw for the Open for Summer Lottery initiative. Albertans only need to enter once to be eligible for all draws, but the government says those who enter “must be able to provide proof you have received your second dose to win the September draw.”
Registration closes Sept. 23 at 11:59 p.m.
For more information on the lottery, click here.
Click here for information on how to book a COVID-19 vaccination appointment in Alberta.
Watch below: Some Global News videos about Alberta’s COVID-19 vaccine lottery program.