More states announce COVID-19 vaccine lottery promotions

FAN Editor

New York, Maryland and Oregon announced lottery promotions tied to receiving COVID-19 vaccines this week, following a program recently introduced in Ohio that offers a similar incentive. 

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo rolled out the “Vax and Scratch” program on Thursday, which will award New York Lottery tickets with prizes of up to $5 million to those 18 and older who get vaccinated at one of 10 sites across the state from Monday, May 24 to Friday, May 28.

“The more New Yorkers we can get vaccinated, the better our situation and the faster we can return to a new normal, so I encourage everyone who hasn’t been vaccinated yet to go to your nearest site and get the shot,” Cuomo said in a press release.

In Maryland, Governor Larry Hogan announced a “$2 million Vax Cash promotion” that lasts from Tuesday, May 25 through Sunday, July 4.

COVID-19 Announcement – May 20, 2021 by Governor Larry Hogan on YouTube

All vaccinated residents ages 18 and older are automatically entered into the daily lottery, which boasts a $40,000 cash prize each day. The final daily drawing will feature a grand prize of $400,000.

“We need every eligible Marylander vaccinated, and this lottery is a further incentive to get a life-saving vaccination to ensure we leave no arm behind in our fight to put this pandemic behind us,” Maryland Department of Health Secretary Dennis R. Schrader said in a press release. 

Oregon Governor Kate Brown announced the “Take Your Shot, Oregon” campaign on Friday, in which one resident over the age of 18 will be selected to win $1 million. Five people between the ages of 12 to 17 will win $100,000 college savings plan scholarship funds, and 36 residents — one from each of the state’s counties — will win $10,000. In order to be eligible for the drawing, which takes place on June 28, Oregon residents must have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. 

“I’m encouraging every eligible Oregonian to take your shot,” Brown said during a news conference on Friday. “Go get vaccinated. It can save your life and just maybe make you a millionaire.” 

The programs follow an announcement from Ohio that it would offer a lottery promotion for residents ages 18 and above who get vaccinated. Those residents can enter to win one of five $1 million prizes.

Ohio is also offering prizes to residents between the ages of 12 and 17 who have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. Those Ohioans can enter to win one of five four-year, full-ride scholarships to any Ohio state college or university.

So far, the program appears to be a success. Ohio reported an uptick in vaccines since announcing its $5 million “Vax-a-Million” lottery last week. Preliminary data showed a 53% week-to-week increase in vaccines from May 13 to 18 compared with the week prior.

Tori B. Powell contributed reporting. 

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