Raleigh, NC – To increase the number of North Carolines being vaccinated against coronavirus, Prime Minister Roy Cooper said Thursday that the state will provide $ 4 million in premiums this summer to any adult who has been vaccinated.
Your Shot for $ 1 million summer cash draw runs June 23 through August 4. A $ 1 million prize draw will be held every other Wednesday during this period, and anyone who has received at least one dose of vaccine since December last year is automatically eligible. Individuals who are vaccinated on or after Thursday have two chances for each prize.
The state will also hold four drawings for $ 1
“No matter who wins this, there is no way to lose,” Cooper said during a news conference. “Even if your name is not drawn, the worst thing you can do is get strong protection against a deadly virus.”
North Carolina early surpassed the national rate of vaccinations, but has been lagging behind the United States in recent weeks. As of Thursday, 54 percent of adults in the state have received at least one dose of the vaccine, according to state Department of Health and Human Services data, compared with nearly 64 percent nationwide.
Cooper said about 2.5 million adults across the country have not yet been vaccinated, so government officials are “pulling all the stops” to get more shots into more arms.
“Vaccines are the key to beating this virus,” he said. “Getting this life-saving vaccine for these people is crucial to the health of our people and the health of our economy.”
The odds of winning one of the $ 1 million prizes are much better than playing PowerBall or MegaMillions lotteries.
Someone’s chance of winning a MegaMillions jackpot is around one in 302 million, and it’s about one in 292 million for a PowerBall jackpot. The odds of winning a Cash 5 lottery in the North Carolina Education Lottery are one in 962,598.
For each of the vaccination premiums, the odds are around one in 1.1 million, although these odds will grow a little longer as more adults are vaccinated. For teens, the chances of winning one of the college scholarships are one in 41,421.
State officials will work with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and the Federal Indian Health Service to incorporate the names of people vaccinated through those agencies into North Carolina’s vaccination database to ensure those people are eligible for the drawings, officials said.
The $ 1 million drawings are modeled after similar “lotteries” in other states. In Ohio, for example, vaccinations jumped 28 percent in two weeks when the state offered $ 1 million in premiums to be vaccinated, said DHHS secretary Dr. Mandy Cohen.
North Carolina is also planning to expand a program that recently started in four counties that offers $ 25 prepaid cards to people to get vaccinated or drive people to clinics to get their shots, Cooper said.
“Whatever motivates people, we will do what works,” he said, adding that the state uses federal pandemic relief funds to pay for the incentives. “It’s not just important for that person and the family, it’s important for our entire state.”
Nearly 550 people remain hospitalized with COVID-19 across the state, and 16 more virus-related deaths were reported Thursday. More than 1 million people across the country have been infected by the virus since the pandemic started 15 months ago.
“I think money is definitely motivating for everyone,” Cal Goodell said when asked if he liked the drawing.
Jay Grooms said he has not been vaccinated yet but plans to do so. An extra $ 1 million would be another motivation for many people, he said.
“It’s a pandemic right now, and people need money. People need money, so why would it not work? Said Grooms.
Cooper and Cohen said the state has plenty of vaccine available if demand increases in the coming days due to cash withdrawals. The state has not ordered any new doses from the federal government in the last two weeks due to low demand.
“I’m not worried about any increase in numbers. In fact, we welcome it,” Cohen said. “We really want people to come in to get the vaccine as soon as possible. We want them to be protected and included in this drawing.”