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More Than 226,000 Seniors Were In This Week's COVID Vaccine Lottery

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- Some Minnesota seniors have luck on their side. They were randomly selected Wednesday morning to get the COVID 19 vaccine. In all, 226,244 Minnesotans over 65 pre-registered for the COVID lottery, which includes the 11,000 who were already waitlisted from the week before.

Around 7 a.m. Wednesday, the Minnesota Health Department start calling, texting and emailing 9,425 Minnesotans, just 4% of those who pre-registered, who were chosen to be vaccinated for week 2 of the MDH pilot program.

Chris Roberts was among the lucky few who woke up a lottery winner on Wednesday.

"I was so excited because I never win anything," said Roberts.

She secured her appointment for Friday in St. Cloud, which is a bit of a long drive from where she lives in the Brainerd Lakes area.

"Oh, I would go to the ends of the earth to get this," said Roberts.

This lottery-style of getting appointments for seniors is a change from the first week, which was "first come, first serve," that led to a lot of issues.

"Logging on and registering yesterday was really, really easy," said Roberts, "So the whole thing was more painless than one would expect."

RELATED: What Are You Safe To Do After Getting Vaccinated For COVID?

Marcia Kremer of St. Paul was also selected to be vaccinated Wednesday morning.

"It makes me feel extremely blessed and lucky that I was selected," said Kremer.

It's a bittersweet moment for this to happen to him.

"I basically haven't been anywhere since March 12, since the last day I saw my mother in the nursing home," said Kremer, "and little did I know that would be the last time I would see her."

Her 97-year-old mother died of COVID on June 16, 2020. Her nursing home was hit hard by the virus and Marcia had to say goodbye to her mom over FaceTime.
Now, getting selected to be vaccinated, felt like a sign.

"God works in mysterious ways, and this might be one of them," said Kremer.

Appointments at the Earle Brown Heritage Center in Brooklyn Center will start Thursday.

As we saw last week, there was a situation where health officials found extra doses at the bottom of the vaccine vials, and they were able to pull from the wait list. A situation that like could happen each week, so people on the waitlist could still get a call from MDH later in the week.

Once you're pre-registered, you do not have to do anything more. You're waitlisted every week until MDH selects you to be vaccinated.

If you haven't pre-registered yet, click here.

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