Adult New Yorkers who get the jab next week will get a chance to win cash with scratch off tickets, Cuomo said at a press conference Thursday.
Residents who get the COVID vaccine at any of the state’s 10 inoculation sites from Monday through Friday of the upcoming week will get a free $5 Million Mega Multiplier Lottery scratch and win card valued at $20.
“The chances of winning something in this program are one in nine that you win something,” he said. “So it is a very exciting lottery.” The minimum winning amount is $20, while higher cash prizes range from five to fifty thousand, and one lucky vaccinated person will bring home a cool $5 million.
Cuomo said vaccines are being incentivized due to the 43% drop in people lining up to be stuck. “The people most willing to take the vaccine came in first. We went through that percentage of the population,” he remarked.
“Now we’re getting to that percentage of the population that not only is not eager, but is probably going to require an incentive to go forward and take the vaccine,” Cuomo continued. “And then you’re going to have a percentage of the population that is just anti-vaccine.”
Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan announced they would run a similar lottery the same day. Starting May 25th, the Maryland Lottery will reward a random vaccinated resident with $40,000, with a draw occuring every day for forty days.
“So it’s a total of $2 million in prize money for a vaccinated Marylander,” Hogan said. “Anyone 18 and older who has already been vaccinated for Covid-19 in the state of Maryland, at any time, is also eligible for these prizes and will automatically be entered to win.”
Ohio was the first state to launch a vax lottery, when they announced five million dollar drawings for adults over 18 and five full college scholarship drawings for minors. Since the program began on May 13, vaccination rates increased by 28%.
The state of New York hopes they will see a similar uptick by introducing the game. “If you were undecided about getting the vaccine… now you have an added bonus,” Cuomo said. “It is a situation where everybody wins.”