State Watch

New York to reward vaccinations with lottery tickets

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New York will give individuals who get vaccinated next week a free state lottery ticket as an incentive to urge more people to be inoculated.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) announced the new program, dubbed Vax & Scratch, on Thursday, joining a number of cities and states that have implemented vaccine incentives to persuade residents to receive the shot.

The program will give a free New York Lottery scratch-off ticket for the Mega Multiplier Lottery to any individuals over the age of 18 who get vaccinated at certain locations across the state between May 24 and May 28.

The first prize for the lottery is $5 million. There are, however, opportunities for individuals to win smaller prizes, ranging from $50,000 to $20.

Cuomo said the chances of winning something in the program are 1 in 9.

Individuals who receive their first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine or the single-dose Johnson & Johnson shot at certain locations next week are eligible to receive a free lottery ticket.

There are 10 eligible locations across the state, including in New York City, central New York, the Hudson Valley, the Mohawk Valley, the Finger Lakes and on Long Island.

A number of cities and states have already implemented incentive programs to persuade residents to get vaccinated.

As supplies become more widely available, states are entering a difficult phase of their vaccine rollout programs in which they are tasked with convincing vaccine-hesitant individuals to receive the shot.

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine (R) announced last week that the state will give away millions of dollars in federal funds through a lottery for people who have received the vaccine.

Ohioans aged 18 and older who have received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine will be entered into a lottery to win $1 million. The lottery will have five drawings, with the first one on May 26.

Residents under the age of 18 who have been vaccinated will be entered into a separate drawing for the chance to win a four-year full scholarship to any of Ohio’s state colleges and universities, including full tuition, room and board.

West Virginia, Connecticut and Detroit have all implemented vaccine incentive programs as well, which include free savings bonds, drinks and prepaid debit cards.

Cuomo on Tuesday announced that more than 10 million New Yorkers have received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine, which equals more than 50 percent of the state’s total population.

New York was the site of one of the worst COVID-19 outbreaks in the U.S., with more than 944,000 cases reported since the pandemic began and more than 33,000 deaths, according to The New York Times.

Tags Andrew Cuomo COVID-19 vaccine Mike DeWine Vaccine hesitancy

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