COVID vaccine

First $1M Winner For Illinois Vaccine Lottery Announced, From Chicago

The winners were from Chicago, suburban Cook County and DeKalb

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The first winner of the Illinois vaccine lottery's $1 million prize was announced Thursday, as well as three winners of $150,000 scholarships.

The winner of $1 million is from Chicago, according to Illinois officials. Three young people from DeKalb, suburban Cook County and Chicago won the scholarship money.

Residents from those cities and counties are advised to keep their phones on and check their emails regularly to find out if they've won, Illinois officials said.

The Illinois Department of Public Health will call from (312) 814-3524 or email from Officials reminded that no personal information will be requested in the initial phone call or email.

"Winners will have seven days to securely complete, sign and send the authorization form to IDPH to accept their prizes." officials said in a release. "Winners will be announced eight days after each draw unless they choose to remain anonymous."

This week's drawing is just one of several drawings as part of the state's incentive program to encourage residents to get vaccinated against COVID-19.

The "All In for the Win" lottery will give out the $10 million in the form of $7 million in cash prizes for adults and $3 million in scholarships for youth, all distributed through weekly drawings, Gov. JB Pritzker said.

Anyone who gets at least one vaccine dose in Illinois is eligible to win, Pritzker said, and anyone who gets their first dose before July 1 would be eligible for the first drawing Thursday and every drawing thereafter.

"You did your part already, and this is a way of saying thank you," Pritzker said. "It's also our way of saying to those who haven't yet been vaccinated: please join us. Vaccines are incredibly effective. And they keep you protected, but they also make your community safer."

Pritzker has said that his goal is to get 80 to 85% of eligible residents vaccinated through a variety of incentives, which have so far included things like Six Flags Great America tickets and free trap shooting range plays in the state.

The Illinois plan is similar to ones announced in other states so far. Vaccine-incentive lotteries have already launched in Ohio, Colorado, Maryland, New Mexico, New York state and Oregon.

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