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Colorado Vaccine Lottery: how to enter and sign up to win $1 million

Colorado announces vaccine lottery where in five vaccinated residents will win $1 million. The governor is hoping the program will spur vaccine demand.

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Colorado Vaccine Lottery: how to enter and sign up to win $1 million
KAMIL KRZACZYNSKI REUTERS

Colorado is the latest state to establish a lottery in which only vaccinated people, and those who are unable to get vaccinated due to personal reasons can win. Colorado follows Ohio, New York, Maryland, and Kentucky in using funds passed through the American Rescue Fund to establish a lottery system.

 On 25 May, Governor Jared Polis’ office announced the Colorado Comeback Cash Vaccine Drawing which will take place over the next five weeks. Each week one winner will be selected to win one million dollars. The winners will be announced each Friday starting 4 June through 7 July. The press release describing the initiative says that it made possible through a collaboration between the Colorado Department of Revenue (DOR), the Colorado Lottery, Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE).

Gov. Polis expressed his excitement for the program saying, “I hope this exciting public health initiative encourages even more Coloradans to get vaccinated now, and for those who have already taken this important step, you’re already eligible to win the big prize.” The Colorado leader also made sure to express that the program is not about the money, especially when considering that only five will win. For the governor this program is "about getting more Coloradans the protection they need from this deadly virus so we can put this pandemic behind us and power the Colorado comeback.”

Who is eligible?

Those eligible to win one must live in the State of Colorado, be at least eighteen years old, have received at least one dose of any vaccine available. Those who administered either the medical information platform used to pick a winner or the competition more generally, will not be able to participate.

People cannot win multiple times and there is no need to apply. The state will be adding all people whose vaccinations have been recorded in the Colorado Immunization Information System.

For those under eighteen, the state has announced that they are looking to create a scholarship program for younger residents.

What are other states doing?

Ohio

Ohio was the first state to announce a vaccine lottery program. Since the event was made public on 13 May, the state has seen an increase of twenty-eight percent in vaccinations.

The Ohio lottery works the same way as Colorado and will pick five winners each taking home one million dollars. Although, in Ohio, there is also a youth competition where five students will be selected to win a full scholarship to any Ohio college or university.

Unlike Colorado, registration is not automatic and Ohioans will be asked to fill out a registration form.

The first winners will be announced on 26 May.

Kentucky

From 11 to 21 May, those eighteen and older in Kentucky who got vaccinated received a free Cash Ball 225 ticket. The tickets which are sold for $1 have a cash prize of $225,000. This program was put in place after the demand for vaccines started plummeting in the state. In the ten days before the program was announced that state-administered 199,811 vaccines. In the ten days following the announcement, that number grew by over 35,000 doses to 235,684.

Additionally, the Kentucky Lottery announced that sales of scratch tickets, in particular, were “up $226.4 million (or 40.2%), from $563.7 million for the year-to-date period in 2020 to $790.1 million for the same period in 2021.”

Maryland

The $2 Million VaxCash Promotion has more prize winners than Ohio and Colorado, but the amount able to win is lower. In Maryland, forty-one winners will two million dollars worth of prizes. From 25 May until 3 July, one winner will be selected to win $40,000 and on the Fourth of July, one person will win $400,000.

New York

On 20 May Governor Andrew Cuomo announced a program wherein some vaccination sites will begin to provide scratch lottery tickets to those who get a shot. The grand prize will be worth five million dollars. The program will “initially include 10 vaccination sites in the New York City, Long Island, Mid-Hudson, Central New York, Finger Lakes, Mohawk Valley and Western New York regions.” Those vaccinated will receive the 1 free $20 NYS Lottery Scratch-Off Ticket, which can also be bought throughout the state.

Additionally, the Governor announced on 24 May, that all New Yorkers who “come to a state park on Memorial Day weekend and get a shot, [...] You get a two-day free pass to come into any state park.” The pass works at all sixteen parks across the state. Last year broke the state’s records for most visitors with more than seventy-eight million people venturing out into the wilderness.

Will these programs work?

For states like Kentucky and Ohio the data shows that over a ten-day period, before and after the announcement of the lottery was made, vaccine dosages did increase. Maryland was able to vaccinate nearly 100,000 more people after the lottery was announced. For other states, it is a bit early to see what the true impact of the program will be.