Imagine waking up a million dollars richer.
That’s the reality for 25-year-old Sydney woman Joanne Zhu, who on Sunday was announced the major prize winner of the Million Dollar Vax campaign.
Ms Zhu was one of the 2.74 million Australians who were in the running for the cash prize for just receiving their Covid-19 vaccines.
A group of philanthropists and corporations known as the Million Dollar Vax Alliance launched the lottery in October in a bid to boost vaccine rates.
Ms Zhu told Nine’s Weekend Today program she wants to share her new-found wealth with her family and friends.
“Someone rang me the other day and I think it was on Friday, and I was at work, I couldn’t pick up the phone. Then I called them back and she said ‘Oh, you won a million dollars! You’re the only one in Australia!’,” she said.
“I would like to book a nice restaurant with my friends to go and have a nice dinner.
“I think I want to fly my family out from China for them in a five-star hotel for Chinese New Year, if the borders are open, and I will buy presents for my family and invest the rest of the money so I can make more money in the future and to help people if they need help.”
The newly minted millionaire said she hoped vaccination rates would continue to rise so the borders could open up once again.
Craig Winkler of the Million Dollar Vax Alliance said he was proud of the role the campaign had in getting jabs in arms.
“We have collectively shown what can happen when Australians get on board. Let’s finish the job – the Million Dollar Vax campaign has played its part, and all the health benefits to you, your family, the community and the most vulnerable among us are still prizes that we can win,” he said.
“The most encouraging element was the late increase in entries from states such as South Australia, Queensland and Western Australia, encouragingly receiving over 100k entries on the final day of the campaign.”
In addition to the cash prize, 100 gift cards worth $1000 were handed out daily in October. In total, $4.1 million in prizes was handed out to more than 3,100 entrants.