State Watch

Pritzker announces vaccine lottery for Illinois after hitting 70% benchmark

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Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D) on Thursday announced a vaccine lottery program to incentivize more residents to get inoculated against COVID-19, even after 70 percent of the state’s adults have received at lease one vaccine dose.

The program, dubbed “All In for the Win,” will reward a total of $10 million to Illinois residents who receive at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose by July 1.

The program will dole out $7 million in cash prizes over the course of 43 drawings for vaccinated adults. The remaining $3 million will be rewarded through 20 college scholarships for vaccinated youth.

“All In For The Win is yet another way we’re working to ensure every single resident is protected from COVID-19, and especially, this virus’ more dangerous variants,” Pritzker said in a statement.

“Vaccines are incredibly effective and keep you protected – and they also make your community safer. Getting the shot is how we truly end this thing, so vax up, Illinois. If you do, you might even hit the jackpot,” he added.

Illinois residents who have received at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose by July 1 will automatically be entered into the lotteries.

Pritzker said the state will hold 43 cash and 20 scholarship drawings, with the first ones happening on July 8 when a $1 million cash winner and three $150,000 scholarship recipients will be chosen.

Weekly $100,000 drawings will continue after that, and a “grand finale” will take place on Aug. 26, when $2 million cash prizes and 17 scholarship awards will be given.

Additionally, regional lotteries will be set up “to ensure people from every part of the state are among the lucky winners,” according to Pritzker.

Pritzker’s announcement of the vaccine lottery program comes after the state said 70 percent of its adult population has received at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose.

As of Thursday, the state reported that 69.7 percent of the Illinois population of people 18 years old and older had received at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose.

Illinois now joins a number of states that have already instituted vaccine lotteries, in an effort to entice hesitant populations to get inoculated.

In one state, the plan is working: last month, Ohio said it saw a 28 percent increase in vaccinations for people ages 16 and older after the lottery was announced.

The United States has administered more than 314.9 million vaccines, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. As of Thursday, 53 percent of the total U.S. population received at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose.


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