Technical difficulties on first day to register in Quebec vaccination lottery

MONTREAL – Quebecers might need to be patient as they try to register in Loto-Quebec draws intended for those who have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

The Quebec government has said the lottery is an attempt to get 75 per cent of its eligible population fully immunized against COVID-19 by the end of August.

The province’s health ministry said Sunday that the website was “experiencing technical problems.”

“Work is underway to resolve the situation as fast as possible,” the ministry wrote.

The registration period was supposed to be opened at 8 a.m. Sunday.

Any Quebecer who received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine can register in Loto-Quebec draws, regardless of when they were vaccinated.

The draws will take place each Friday in August and people will be eligible to win up to a $150,000 prize or a $10,000 scholarship by registering online.

Health Minister Christian Dube and Finance Minister Eric Girard announced the lottery in mid-July.

Dube had said during the announcement that concerns about the more transmissible Delta variant first reported in India led authorities to go the prize route.

Quebec’s public health institute said that as of Thursday, 83 per cent of Quebecers over the age of 12 had received at least one dose and 59.8 per cent were fully vaccinated.

Other provinces, such as Ontario and Manitoba, have already used lotteries to entice residents to get the shot.