Gov. Larry Hogan of Maryland has announced that state residents who get vaccinated for COVID-19 stand a chance to win $2 million by July 3. The $2 million COVID-19 vaccine lottery is called VaxCash and will be won daily from May 25 to July 3. One person will win $40,000 every day and one person win the mega sum of $400,000 on the last day, WBALTV reports.
According to Hogan, the initiative is to encourage or incentivize people to get vaccinated, and it is being organized by the state ministry of health in collaboration with the Maryland Lottery. The $2 million VaxCash lotteries are taken from the Maryland Lottery’s Marketing Fund which is allocated for advertising and promotions, state officials said.
“Promotions like this are just one more way that we’re reinforcing the importance of getting every single Marylander we can, vaccinated against COVID-19,” Hogan said. “Remember Maryland, get your shot, for your shot to win.”
He noted that his administration had been mulling the idea of incentivizing vaccination for some time, most especially since Ohio tried it, and it worked by increasing vaccination rates by 20%.
According to Hogan, an individual is eligible for the stakes by being 18 and older and a resident in Maryland. The individual must get at least one shot of the vaccine to be eligible, and it must be received in Maryland. Anyone who has received one shot already before the lottery is rolled out is also eligible to win since their data will be automatically entered for the prize, the Baltimore Sun reveals.
The prizes will be drawn daily from May 25 to June 3 using computer software to randomly pick a number from those provided by the state department of health to the Maryland Lottery. Only numbers will be drawn and the names of anyone will not be obtainable by the lottery agency and winners of the daily $40,000 will be notified by the Maryland Ministry of Health.
Once a winner is obtained daily, they will be sent a “$2 Million VaxCash Promotion Authorization Form” to fill out and return to the ministry of health. Signing the returned form gives the ministry the power to release the names and contact details of the winner to the lottery agency so that their prizes can be processed.
However, winners can choose to remain anonymous for security reasons; but then, those in small towns will have their home counties published and those in big towns will have their town mentioned but no identifying details. Federal and state taxes will be deducted from the winnings before they are released to the winners, including child support arrears where due.