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WV offering guns, trucks, $1M and more in COVID vaccine lottery

Nurses prepare doses of the Pfizer vaccine. (Ryan Garza/Detroit Free Press/TNS)
June 02, 2021

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice announced a vaccination incentive program Tuesday in which vaccinated individuals will be eligible to win $1 million, as well as other valuable prizes like guns and trucks.

“We’re going to do this program from June 20 until August 4,” Justice said during a news conference, according to CNN. “We’re going to start with the giveaways on Father’s Day.”

In order to be eligible for the vaccine-incentive lottery, participants must have received the first shot for the COVID-19 vaccination.

“You could win something that would be phenomenal,” Justice continued. “We’re going to give away two full, four-year scholarships to kids that are age-eligible from 12 to 25.”

The governor noted that the lottery will also include two custom outfitted trucks, 25 weekend getaways to state parks, five lifetime hunting and fishing licenses, five custom hunting rifles, and five custom hunting shotguns.

“And also on Father’s Day, we are going to make one of you a millionaire,” he added.

Justice said the number of active cases in West Virginia has reached the lowest since October last year, totaling 4,550.

“Today, on June 1, we have well in excess of 75% of our people that are 50 years of age or older that have received their first shot,” he said. “Also today, we also hit 84% of our 65 years of age and older, and so we’re 1% away from a lofty, lofty goal to have 85% of our folks vaccinated that are 65 years of age and older.”

According to the governor, Memorial Day weekend traffic was “incredible,” noting that it was up 45 percent from the same period last year.

“We still got a lot, a lot of folks that have been cooped up for a long time and they want to get out and they want to go, and that’s great stuff,” Justice added.

A number of other states and businesses nationwide have offered similar incentives to encourage Americans to get the coronavirus vaccine. In Ohio, resident Abbigail Bugenske became the first winner of the state’s “Vaxx-a-Million” vaccine lottery, ABC News reported.

Residents who had received at least one coronavirus vaccine shot were eligible to win the coveted prize. Over 2.7 million adults entered the drawing, and more than 104,000 12 to 17-year-olds also entered to win a full-ride college scholarship, won by Joseph Costello of Englewood.

“Congrats, Joseph!  You just won a full-ride college scholarship! If you’re between 12 and 17 years-old and had at least one dose of the vaccine, you could be next!” Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine tweeted. “Sign up at http://ohiovaxamillion.com!”