Fijian Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama last night officiated at the first draw of the “Win Together Sweepstakes” – a national lottery for Fijians who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

Emphasising the need for more Fijians to get vaccinated, Prime Minister Bainimarama indicated that fully vaccinated Fijians meant more lives will be saved and more freedom restored. Additionally, houses of worship will open; sports will be played again, businesses fully opened and Fiji opened to the world.

“I've said it before and I will say it again: the best reward for being vaccinated isn’t money. It is the protection that vaccines provide against a deadly virus and the lives that they save. This national lottery is our "thank you" to the Fijians who are taking the time to follow the science, register, and become fully vaccinated”, Prime Minister Bainimarama added.

The Prime Minister also confirmed that as of 07 September, a total of 566,285 adults in Fiji were fully vaccinated and reaffirmed the nations pathway to a safer Fiji, restoring freedom whilst remaining vigilant to keep the virus at bay, and positioning the Fijian economy for a recovery in the new normal.

“As of tonight, over 96 percent of adults in Fiji have received one dose. But one dose is not enough, we have to make sure all of these folks get the full protection of two doses. If you have one dose, do not skip dose number two. When you are fully-vaccinated, not only will you be more protected against COVID-19, you will be eligible to enter our next draw on Fiji Day, where we'll have more opportunities for more fully- vaccinated Fijians. We will be awarding a total of $51,000(US$25,000) in prize money to ten winners –– so $5,100 each(US$2,550) –– in honour of our 51st anniversary of independence.”

Speaking on the 8th Year Anniversary of the Fijian Constitution, Prime Minister Bainimarama stated the Fijian Constitution has served as a foundation of a united Fiji.

“Every day of the past eight years it has been the guiding star for our mission to empower every Fijian. It is the promise that we are one people, the assurance that those most vulnerable will be protected, and the contract that guarantees the equal value of the votes we cast in elections. Today, as common, equal, and patriotic Fijians, we proudly mark its anniversary.”

Meanwhile, the application window for last night’s first draw was open for 60 hours from Saturday, 28 August at 5pm until the morning of 31 August at 5am, with a strict limit of one application per phone. The electronic number generator ran through every entry to select one number from the 104,000 fully vaccinated Fijians who applied to enter this contest.

The lucky winner from the draw, Lorraine Rigamoto won $8,000(US$4,000) in honour of the eighth anniversary of our Fijian Constitution.