California Offering Awards Totaling $116.5M to Get Vaxxed

Governor Newsom announced Thursday a $116.5 million vaccine incentive program including $1.5 million in cash prizes to encourage Californians to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

California follows other states in offering big vaccine incentive payouts, New York is giving out scratch-off tickets for the chance to win up to $5 million, according to Politico.

“California has already made incredible progress in the fight against COVID-19, with the lowest case rates in the country while administering millions more vaccines than any other state,” Newsom said in a release. “But we aren’t stopping there, we’re doing everything it takes to get Californians vaccinated as we approach June 15 to help us fully reopen safely.”

On June 15, the day the state drops its capacity restrictions, social distancing rules and almost all masking requirements, there will be a “Vax for the Win” award of $15 million split among 10 vaccinated Californians in the largest cash prize so far.

In drawings held June 4 and June 11, thirty winners will be selected to win a $50,000 cash prize each. The next 2 million people who get vaccinated beginning May 27 will be automatically eligible for $50 gift cards for online shopping or groceries, Politico reports.

“You don’t have to register to do this as is the case in other states,” Newsom said. “You’re automatically registered.”

Any resident aged 12 and over who has completed the vaccination process or gets at least one dose before the drawings is eligible to win, according to the state.  Winners must be fully vaccinated to claim their prizes.

About Catherine Smith

Catherine Smith is a newcomer to Washington D.C. She met and married an American journalist and moved to D.C. from the U.K. She graduated with a B.A. in Graphics, Media, and Communications and worked in design and retail in the U.K.

Photo: Getty Images

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