Illinois will offer lotteries for residents who have received the COVID-19 vaccine, including those planning to get vaccinated. Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker announced at a news conference on Thursday that COVID-19 lotteries would start on July 8.
The lotteries could give individuals as much as $1 million and offer $150,000 scholarships to younger eligible residents. Illinois residents who have already received the vaccine are automatically registered. The states will give a total of $10 million in winnings throughout summer and will hold three $1 million draws and forty $100,000 draws.
Lotteries are offered to vaccinated residents and those planning to get the COVID-19 vaccine
The draws are open to anybody who has received or will get a COVID-19 vaccination between now and mid-August. For children between the ages of 12 and 17, Illinois will host twenty $150,000 prizes. To win, residents must have gotten at least one dosage of the COVID-19 vaccine; they do not have to be fully vaccinated at the time of the drawing. The cash will come from the state's federal aid program, as per Chron.com.
The governor expressed his hope that the lottery will encourage more people to get vaccinated and act as a "thank you" to those who had already done so. The Illinois Department of Public Health will notify the winners.
When Illinois residents had their vaccine, they filled out forms with their contact information, which are kept in a statewide database. The same information will be used to determine lottery winners.
Illinois governor launched various COVID-19 vaccination incentives
Starting on July 8, the money taken from federal coronavirus relief funds will be distributed through weekly draws. Residents who have been vaccinated are not required to apply to be eligible for rewards of up to $1 million.
Anyone who has received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine, outside a federal facility such as a jail or veterans hospital, is regarded automatically eligible. Residents who were inoculated at a Federal Emergency Management Agency, such as the United Center mass vaccination facility, are also eligible.
The lottery called "All In for the Win" is the state's most recent attempt to persuade its residents to get vaccinated. Aside from lotteries, Pritzker also approved new legislations that will benefit those who are not qualified to join the drawings. Bars and restaurants are allowed to provide free drinks to individuals of legal drinking age. The state also partnered with Six Flags to offer free amusement park tickets as alternative rewards.
During the initial drawing on July 8, one winner $1 million and three winners of $150,000 worth of scholarship will be chosen statewide. To be eligible for the first drawing, residents must have received their first COVID-19 dose by July 1.
Every Monday from July 12 to August 16, three winners of $100,000 cash will be drawn from a statewide pool. Two winners of $100,000 will be selected from each of 11 regions in Pritzker's "Restore Illinois" reopening plan's on August 12, as per the Chicago Tribune.
The lottery will end on August 26 with the selection of two more winners of $1 million from throughout the state and seventeen winners of $150,000 worth of scholarship, one from each region and six from across the state.
Illinois has given out more than 12 million doses of the three COVID-19 vaccinations available in the United States as of Thursday. According to the Illinois Department of Public Health, a total of 5,456,492 Illinois residents over the age of 12 are completely vaccinated. This comes to around 50.3 percent of the state's population.
At least one dose of Pfizer and Moderna vaccines has been given to 7,247,381 people aged above 12. This equates to around 66.9% of the population.
Per the NBC Chicago, Pritzker and IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike said around three million Illinois residents are eligible for COVID-19 vaccination but have not yet done so. The governor's objective is to convince the 80 to 85 percent of eligible Illinois citizens to get vaccinated through giving away numerous incentives, which include Six Flags Great America tickets and free trap shooting range plays across the state thus far.
The Illinois initiative is similar to those that have been unveiled in other states. In Maryland, New Mexico, Ohio, Colorado, New York, and Oregon, vaccine incentive lotteries have already occurred. Since the state's lottery scheme began, vaccinations have increased across the state, said Ohio's governor. Vaccinations among 16 and 17-year-olds increased by 94 percent, 55 percent among 20-49 years old, and 46 percent among 18-19 years old, according to the Republican governor.