$116 million California Vaccine Lottery: how to enter and sign up

To encourage residents to get the covid-19 vaccine Gov. Gavin Newsom has announced a new state-wide lottery which will give $1.5 million to ten vaccinated Californians.

$116 million California Vaccine Lottery: how to enter and sign up

On Thursday California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced the introduction of an enormous cash lottery aimed at convincing more of the state’s residents to get the covid-19 vaccine. The US’s most populous state is offering the largest cash incentive in the country, with ten lucky Californians set to receive a $1.5 million jackpot.

So far more than 20 million Californians are at least partially vaccinated, but there are still roughly 12 million residents who are eligible for the life-saving shots who are yet to sign up. The hope is that the California Vaccine Lottery, with a combined prize pot of $116.5 million, will convince anyone yet to be vaccinated to get the shot.

Upon announcing the lottery, Newsom said: “We’re putting aside more resources than any other state in America, and we’re making available the largest prizes of any state in America for those that seek to get vaccinated.”

How to sign up for the California Vaccine Lottery

Fortunately there is no complicated registration process to contend with to be entered into the draw, simply ensure that you get your first vaccine dose and you will be automatically signed up. The lottery draw will be taken from the state’s vaccine registry.

The only vaccinated Californians who will not be entered into the draw are incarcerated residents, and some state employees (California State Lottery, California Department of Public Health, the Government Operations Agency, California Health and Human Services Agency, the governor’s office) and their families.

How much can I win in the California Vaccine Lottery?

As well as the ten-person top prize of $1.5 million in cash, there is a second tier of prizes also on offer. Another 30 lucky vaccine recipients will be given a $50,000 cash prize, the drawing of which will be split across two weeks.

On Friday 4 June the first 15 winners of the $50,000 second prize will be announced, with the other 15 confirmed on Friday 11 June. But if your name is not pulled out of the hat for either of those draw you will still be in the running for the top prize of $1.5 million, which will be drawn on Tuesday 15 June.

The money for these lucrative prizes comes from the state’s disaster response fund, which will then be reimbursed with federal relief money. Some have questioned whether or not the enormous outlay is worth it, but Newsom told reporters that the “cost of not getting vaccinated is exponentially, incalculably higher.”