Massachusetts Gets in the Lottery Game for COVID-19 Vaccinations
The Bay State is getting into the vaccine lottery game with the Massachusetts VaxMillions Giveaway for residents 18 and over who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
Participants can enter online starting July 1.
Five one million dollar prizes will be drawn weekly by the Massachusetts State Lottery beginning July 26 through August 27. People who are 12 to 17 years old can enter to win one of five $300,000 scholarship grants.
"If you've been sitting on the sidelines and thinking about getting vaccinated but for whatever reason haven't, here's another reason for you to come forward and protect yourself, your friends, your co-workers and your neighbors by getting vaccinated here in the commonwealth. The vaccine is free and it now could be your ticket to winning one million dollars," Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker said Tuesday while announcing the game.
Participants must have received their vaccination in Massachusetts and have a vaccination card to be eligible.
"If you're not vaccinated you can't play," Baker said.
Funding for the prizes will come from federal relief funds which can be used to create incentives, according to the governor.
Baker said he spoke with Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine about his state's lottery which Baker said led to a "significant increase in vaccine signups" with a one million prize.
In New Hampshire where vaccinations have tailed off, Gov. Chris Sununu has been reluctant to introduce a lottery game as an incentive.
"If you haven't chosen to take the vaccine by now, we're not going to pay you to do that. I'm not going to use the bribe word or anything like that. But, we're not going to overly incentivize you into making a health care choice based on money. I kind of have a fundamental block with that. And we've just done a great job without it," Sununu said at his most recent coronavirus briefing.
Maine offered an incentive program in May that offered free fishing and hunting licenses, state park passes and Portland SeaDogs passes.
Democratic New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy, who said, "everything is on the table" to encourage vaccinations, has four incentive programs including the chance to have dinner with him and his wife at either the official governor's residence or at the governor's house at Island Beach State Park on the Jersey Shore.
The Shot and a Beer program provides a free glass of beer from dozens of bars and restaurants around the state while Uncork the Vaccination gets a glass of wine at several participating wineries.
Washington state officials have offered free marijuana with its "Joints for Jabs" program to adults who receive the COVID-19 vaccine.