Colorado to offer $50,000 scholarships for young people to get vaccinated

Colorado plans to offer $50,000 scholarships to 25 randomly selected minors who get their COVID-19 vaccines, extending the state’s lottery initiative to adolescents.

Gov. Jared PolisJared Schutz PolisBiden administration OKs Colorado expansion of transgender health coverage Judge dismisses police suit challenging Denver coronavirus vaccine mandate Bipartisan push for vocational training focuses on funding, curricula MORE (D) unveiled the lottery Wednesday, which aims to get those aged 12 to 17 vaccinated by distributing a total of $1.25 million in scholarships among 25 adolescents. Colorado residents who have received at least one dose are eligible to win the money and automatically entered.

Drawings will take place every Monday for five weeks with five children winning a $50,000 scholarship in each lottery, starting Monday through July 5. The winners will be announced on the Friday following the drawings.


The scholarship money will be placed in a college invest account and can be used for college tuition or other postsecondary education.

“If you’re 12, 13, 14, you might not be thinking about college yet,” Polis said during a briefing. “The funds are put in a college invest account and will grow over time, and you'll be able to use it for not just college, but technical programs, credential programs.”


The scholarship lottery will be a part of the Colorado Comeback Cash initiative that the state announced last week that gives adults the chance to win $1 million every week for five weeks. 


Colorado joined a slew of states offering scholarships to lottery winners to promote vaccinations among 12- to 17-year-olds, including Ohio, which started the trend and has seen improvements in vaccination numbers. 

Ohio’s lottery similarly offers $1 million and a full-ride to a state school. Last week, New York declared that the state will give out 50 scholarships to teenagers who get their vaccine. Oregon will provide five winners with $100,000 scholarships.

The growing attention to boosting the motivations to get vaccines comes as vaccination numbers have waned in recent weeks, falling from about 3 million shots per day in April to about 1.25 million per day. 

Experts have attributed this drop to a shrinking number of people who are eager to get the vaccine.

It also comes as President BidenJoe BidenJan. 6 panel lays out criminal contempt case against Bannon Overnight Energy & Environment — Presented by the American Petroleum Institute — Democrats address reports that clean energy program will be axed Two House Democrats to retire ahead of challenging midterms MORE strives to reach 70 percent of American adults vaccinated with at least one dose by the Fourth of July. Currently 62.8 percent have received at least one dose.