A new vaccine lottery in Illinois will offer a total of $10 million in total prize money to residents who get vaccinated against COVID-19, Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced Thursday.
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, Pritzker said.
The Illinois Lottery will draw names each week beginning July 8, Pritzker said. The cash prizes will range from $100,000 to $1 million, he said, while children can win a Bright Start college savings plan worth $150,000 apiece.
Anyone who gets at least one vaccine dose in Illinois is eligible to win, Pritzker said, noting there are "no sign-up, no forms, no waiting in line" and that anyone who gets their first dose before July 1 will be eligible for the first drawing on July 8 and every drawing thereafter.
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"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."
The announcement came weeks after Pritzker began hinting that Illinois was working on a lottery similar to ones introduced in other U.S. states as an incentive to encourage people to get vaccinated against COVID-19.
Pritzker said in an interview on June 3 that the funding for the lottery was allocated through state budget appropriations.
"The legislature gave us the ability through our lottery in the state to be able to offer something," he said.
As of Thursday, Illinois has administered more than 12 million doses of the three COVID-19 vaccines available in the U.S.
A total of 5,456,492 Illinois residents above the age of 12 are fully vaccinated, according to data from the Illinois Department of Public Health. That equates to roughly 50.3% of the state's population over 12.
A total of 7,247,381 Illinois residents over the age of 12 have received at least one dose of the two-dose Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. That figure is about 66.9% of the 12+ population.
There are roughly 3 million Illinois residents who are eligible to get vaccinated against COVID-19 but haven't yet done so, Pritzker and IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike said Thursday.
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.
Ohio's governor has said vaccinations surged across the state since their lottery program was launched.
Vaccinations among 16- and 17-year-olds jumped 94%; the 20-49 age group was up 55% and 18-19-year-olds were up 46%, the Republican governor said.