$1M West Virginia Vaccine Lottery: how to enter and win
As demand for vaccines drops in West Virginia, Governor Jim Justice announces a vaccine lottery that will give away cash prizes, trucks, riffles, and more.
As of 3 June, West Virginia has administered over 1.3 million doses of covid-19 vaccines. Demand for vaccines has fallen sharply since its high in March when the state-administered over 342,000 shots.
On 1 June, West Virginia Governor Jim Justice announced the details of the state’s vaccine lottery. The program was announced in part to encourage vaccination across the state after only 142,000 doses were administered in May. West Virginia is one of eight states that has introduced a covid-19 vaccine lottery, following California, Colorado, Delaware, Maryland, New Mexico, Ohio, and Oregon.
The program will begin on 20 June and run through 4 August. The summer lottery will give way prizes, including scholarship, customized trucks and hunting rifles and shotguns, weekend vacations at WV state parks, and cash prizes, one worth $588,000 and a 1.5 million dollar grand prize.
A press release with details of the lottery states that it is the governor’s opinion that getting more “West Virginians vaccinated is crucial in not only saving lives but saving the state from the financial impact of continued hospitalizations and prolonged vaccine clinics.” West Virginia is one of the rural states in the country, and with a crumbling infrastructure, the logistics of distributing vaccines alone is a challenge.
Vaccination rates for younger residents have been especially low. To increase numbers, the state had previously announced that it would give those between the ages of sixteen and thirty-five a savings bond or gift card with $100. Over 20,000 vaccine goers have already claimed the benefit.
How to register?
According to the state, those vaccinated will be automatically entered to win the various prizes. Unlike many of the other states, residents of the state must be fully vaccinated to be eligible. Currently, only a third of residents would be able to win the various prizes.
White House 70% Target and West Virginia
President Biden has made public that it is his goal to have seventy percent of residents in the US at least partially vaccinated by the Fourth of July. Currently, forty percent of residents in West Virginia are partially vaccinated, meaning that serious gaps must be filled to reach the President’s target.
To reach the target, the state would need to administer at six times the rate they did in May. In the coming days and weeks, the data will begin to show if the lottery has been effective increasing demand for vaccines.