Washington incentivizes vaccinations with $2 million in cash, dozens of prizes
You can win up to $1 million, educational assistance, Seahawks tickets or even an Xbox by getting vaccinated.
OLYMPIA, Wash. — Governor Jay Inslee announced an assortment of prizes, including a total of $2 million in cash, to incentivize Washington residents to receive their COVID-19 vaccination. This is part of the Washington State Lottery’s “Shot of a Lifetime” giveaway series that will take place throughout the month of June.
During a press conference held on Thursday, June 3, Governor Inslee announced that the state will be giving away financial assistance for tuition and higher education costs, sports tickets, team gear, gift cards, airline tickets, speakers, and gaming consoles to Washingtonians to initiate vaccination.
The Washington State Department of Health (DOH) confirmed that 63% of the state’s eligible population has initiated vaccination. By introducing these new prizes, Secretary of Health Dr. Umair Shah hopes to push that rate over 70% so the state can re-open sooner than June 30.
“Our state has made tremendous progress, with well over half of our population 16 and older fully vaccinated, but there are still far too many people who have not started vaccination,” Shah said. “We hope this effort encourages people to get their vaccine to protect themselves and their communities as we push toward reopening at the end of this month.”
If you’re already vaccinated, you’ve automatically been enrolled in the state lottery. Over four weeks in the month of June, the state lottery will draft one winner to receive a $250,000 prize. There will be one additional drawing at the end of the month for a grand prize winner who will receive $1 million. Names will be gathered and randomly selected from the DOH statewide immunization database.
Beyond the state’s efforts, many organizations with roots in Washington state are providing prizes that would appeal to people of all sensibilities. For example, Alaska Airlines is offering two free tickets to anywhere that the airline flies. Popular sports teams like the Seahawks, Storm, Mariners, Kraken, Sounders, and OL Reign are offering tickets to vaccinated Washingtonians.
Public four-year universities and two-year colleges will receive nearly $1 million to run their own lottery drawing to provide students with financial tuition and book assistance.
“These generous programs will encourage more Washingtonians to take this life-saving vaccine,” Inslee said during his press conference. “I hope people will see this as an opportunity to reopen even sooner than June 30th if we can stay motivated, stay informed and get more people vaccinated faster throughout the month of June.”
Technology companies are contributing to the “Shot of a Lifetime” giveaway as well. Microsoft is giving away 300 Xbox consoles with a free Xbox Game Pass subscription that will provide winners with access to hundreds of titles. Nintendo is getting in on the action with free Nintendo Switch Consoles. Amazon is giving away 40 Echo Dot devices and Google is giving away 25 Google Nest devices.
There will also be $500,000 worth of gift cards distributed at mobile vaccination clinics catered to local businesses.
“Choices have consequences. The vaccine is our best and safest chance to get back to pre-pandemic levels of activity,” Inslee said. “It is a personal choice, but one that affects the lives of millions. The choices we make affect our neighbors, our friends, and our families. So, I hope more people make the right choice, to learn more about the safety and efficacy of the vaccine, and to get vaccinated.”
To find a vaccination clinic near you, visit the Washington state Vaccine Locator site by clicking here.
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