Ka-ching: 35-year-old Hong Kong chef wins $10.8m flat in vaccine lottery

The lucky winner, surnamed Lee, said he was “buying lunch” when he learned that he had won the HK$10.8 million flat. Screenshots via YouTube/Sino Group
The lucky winner, surnamed Lee, said he was “buying lunch” when he learned that he had won the HK$10.8 million flat. Screenshots via YouTube/Sino Group

A 35-year-old chef who won the grand prize in a COVID-19 vaccine lottery is now the lucky owner of a brand new HK$10.8m (US$1.4m) flat.

The lottery was drawn last week, but only Wednesday was the winner—surnamed Lee—revealed.

In an interview video, Lee recounts the moment he learned about his once-in-a-lifetime winning.

“I only knew the lucky draw took place that day when I read the news while buying lunch. I saw that the digits and the identity card number look so similar to mine. At that moment, I was really nervous. Could it be me?” He says.

Lee, who got his second COVID-19 shot in April, says that he has “pretty much entered all” of the vaccine lotteries he came across. With a laugh, he adds: “I didn’t win any of the others.”

The new 449 square feet apartment is located at the luxury Grand Central development in Kwun Tong.

In the video, Lee gets a tour of the empty abode, opening kitchen cupboards and checking out the view from his balcony.

“I’ve thought about it, I can put my bed here,” he gestures in a room. “[The space] is long enough here.”

Over 2.5 million people participated in the lucky draw, according to the lottery’s sponsors Sino Group and Chinese Estates Holdings Limited.

Twenty runner-ups won a pre-paid or credit card with a value of HK$100,000 (US$12,855) each.

The sponsors of the lucky draw are organizing a second phase of the lottery, registration for which is already open. The prizes include 20 scholarships worth HK$200,000 (US$25,711) each for Hong Kong residents aged between 12 and 18.

And if 5 million people in the city receive at least one dose of the COVID-19 shot by Sept. 30, another apartment in the same Kwun Tong complex will be put up as the grand prize. (As of Tuesday, 4.4 million people have gotten their first dose.)

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