Across the United States, COVID-19 vaccination rates are on the rise. The goal is to see enough people vaccinated that the virus is no longer a major threat to the public, but vaccine hesitancy is still a major hurdle to achieving that goal.
To increase the number of vaccinated individuals, states are offering up COVID-19 lotteries. From vehicles to cash to college scholarships, various prizes are up for grabs for those who choose to be vaccinated and take part in the contests. Massachusetts is the latest state to launch a new vaccination lottery program.
VaxMillions will begin in July, offering up $1 million prizes and college scholarships. Adults 18 years of age or older are eligible to compete for the million-dollar prizes. There will be five, $1 million prizes given away. Kids ages 12-17 can also register, with five $300,000 college scholarships on offer.
How to Take Part
Only residents of Massachusetts can take part in VaxMillions. Contestants must be fully vaccinated before submitting an entry. Two doses of the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine must be taken or one dose of Johnson & Johnson.
Starting on July 1, eligible residents can register online. The registration process will remain open through August 20. Residents can only enter the drawing one time during the contest period. Drawings will take place each week starting on July 26 and ending on August 27.
The Massachusetts Department of Public Health will check the vaccination status of an individual who enters the drawings. Winners may be asked to provide a vaccination card for verification purposes. The validation process must be completed for prizes to be claimed.
Winners who accept the prizes provided, be it the scholarship or $1 million, will be announced publicly. The winners name and likeness may be used on promotional materials for VaxMillions.
Additional Vaccination Lotteries
Other states in the US have already launched COVID-19 vaccination lotteries. In early June, West Virginia, Illinois, and New Mexico announced lottery drawings for vaccinated individuals. In New Mexico, residents can compete for $10 million in prizes with a grand prize of $5 million in offer.
West Virginia officials decided to offer cash prizes and college scholarships, similar to Massachusetts contest. Along with these prizes, the state will also provide getaway vacation packages, guns, and trucks. Illinois has several million in cash set aside to provide prizes to its vaccinated residents.
Among the first states to offer vaccination lottery drawings were Ohio and Maryland. In Ohio, the Vax-a-Million program provided $1 million to adults and college scholarships for vaccinated young people. As soon as officials announced the program in the state, the number of vaccinated individuals increased.
In Maryland, residents can register for the VaxCash lottery drawing. Through July 3, the lottery will draw one winner per day for a $40,000 prize. This lottery contest seems to be one that will provide the most number of prizes, though the amount given is lower than in other states.