illinois vaccine lottery

Pritzker Details Illinois COVID Vaccine Lottery

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Gov. J.B. Pritzker on Thursday announced a new promotion to encourage Illinois residents to get vaccinated against COVID-19: a vaccine lottery.

Pritzker detailed the promotion during a news conference at 1:30 p.m. at Access Community Health Network in Chicago, according to his public schedule. The event can be watched live in the video player above.

A sign placed at the announcement showed that $10 million will be "up for grabs" through the lottery, with $7 million in cash prizes for adults and $3 million in scholarships for youth. The sign showed that the money would be given in weekly cash drawings for "all vaccinated Illinois residents."

Further details on how the lottery may work and who will be eligible were not immediately available. It comes two weeks after Pritzker said Illinois was working on a vaccine lottery similar to ones introduced in other U.S. states and that he anticipated an announcement "relatively soon."

In an interview with NBC 5's Mary Ann Ahern on June 3, Pritzker said the state was working out details of what Illinois' lottery may look like.

"The legislature gave us the ability through our lottery in the state to be able to offer something," Pritzker said. "Again, the details of which we haven't really worked out, but we're going to come forward with that as soon as we can."

Pritzker said at the time that his goal was 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 expected to be similar to ones announced in other states so far, though it remains unclear just who will be eligible in Illinois' program.

Vaccine-incentive lotteries have already launched in Ohio, Colorado, Maryland, New Mexico, New York state and Oregon.

Ohio's governor said vaccinations have 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.

Vax-a-Million is open to permanent Ohio residents who have received either the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine or their first part of the two-dose Pfizer or Moderna vaccination.

Vaccinated residents in New Mexico who register on the state’s new “Vax 2 the Max” portal can win from a $10 million prize pool including a $5 million grand prize, the state's governor announced earlier this month.

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