A 35-year-old chef has been revealed as the winner of a flat worth HK$10.8 million (S$1.86 million) offered in a lucky draw aimed at encouraging Hong Kong residents to get vaccinated against Covid-19.
The man, who preferred to only give his surname as Lee, was picked from among 2.5 million residents who signed up for the lottery organised by Sino Group’s philanthropic arm and developer Chinese Estates Holdings.
Lee said he would move out of the place he rents in Cheung Sha Wan and into the new one-bedroom flat, measuring 449 sq ft, at Grand Central in Kwun Tong.
“When I first got notified about being the winner of the lucky draw, I was so excited and happy as I had never thought that I would have the luck to win the grand prize!” he said in a press release following the draw last Wednesday.
Lee recounted witnessing first-hand how the coronavirus pandemic hammered restaurants across the city when social-distancing rules forced them to limit their operating hours and seating capacity.
While some residents remain reluctant to get inoculated, Lee said he believed the shots were the best weapon against the pandemic.
“I took the initiative to get myself vaccinated and received my second dose of the Covid-19 vaccine in April,” he said.
“I truly believe vaccination is the most effective way to protect myself and my family, and this win is certainly a pleasant yet unexpected surprise.”
Another 20 prizes were also given out in the bonanza, including prepaid credit cards each valued at HK$100,000.
Among the winners were a domestic helper, manicurist, medical practitioner and pastry chef.
When the draw was unveiled in May, just 12.9 per cent of residents had taken both shots.
Property developers, business chambers and retail chains then stepped up with more than HK$190 million in prizes to convince residents to get the jabs.
Now, 51.4 per cent of people are fully inoculated.
The philanthropic group, the Ng Teng Fong Charitable Foundation, and Chinese Estates have promised to give away a second flat at Grand Central worth HK$12 million if five million people get at least one vaccine shot by the end of the month.
The figure stood at about 4.35 million as of Tuesday night.
They are also accepting registrations for the second round of the lottery, which includes 20 scholarships valued at HK$200,000 each, until Sept 30.
Eligible permanent residents who registered for the first draw will automatically be enrolled in the next round with no extra registration required.
This article was first published in South China Morning Post.