For a lot of people, getting the COVID-19 vaccine is the best shot at getting back to normal life. But some states are sweetening the deal by giving residents who have gotten vaccinated a shot at winning millions.
4 States Offering Lottery Prizes for Getting Vaccinated
Could your vaccine win you big bucks? If you live in one of these four states, your vaccination card could be the golden ticket.
Each day from May 25 through July 3, the state of Maryland will randomly select one resident who’s received a vaccine to receive a $40,000 prize as part of the $2 Million VaxCash promotion. On July 4, the state will hold a grand finale drawing for $400,000.
Anyone who’s a Maryland resident and has received at least one vaccine dose in the state is eligible. No registration is required. If you’ve already been vaccinated, you’re already eligible. If you get vaccinated during the contest period, you’ll be entered. Of course, the sooner you get your shot, the more chances you have to win.
The Maryland Department of Health will randomly assign a number to every vaccinated person over 18 to the Maryland Lottery. The lottery will randomly draw one number within the range of numbers provided each day, but it won’t receive the names of people who have gotten the vaccine. The lottery will then provide the winning number to the Maryland Department of Health, which will then notify each winner.
For more information, visit mdlottery.com.
Prizes: 40 prizes of $40,000 each from May 25 through July 3; one $400,000 prize on July 4.
New Yorkers who get their shots at one of 10 mass vaccination sites in the state between May 24 and May 28 will receive a free $20 scratch-off lotto ticket through the state’s Vax & Scratch program. Lotto tickets are only available to residents 18 and older.
There are 13 tiers of prize payouts ranging from $20 to $5 million. Gov. Andrew Cuomo said there’s a 1 in 9 chance of winning some cash prize when he announced the program on May 20.
To be clear, those who receive their shots between May 24 and May 28 are receiving a regular New York Lotto scratch-off ticket that anyone can buy. People who have already received their vaccine won’t qualify for a free ticket.
For more information and a list of vaccination sites, visit the news release on the New York State website.
Prizes: One free $20 scratch-off ticket for people who receive a vaccine between May 24 and May 28 at any of 10 state mass vaccination sites. Prizes range from $20 to $5 million.
Five Ohio residents who have gotten at least one vaccine dose will have the chance to win $1 million through the Vax-a-Million program. Drawings will take place Mondays from May 25 through June 21. Winners will be announced the Wednesday after the drawing each week.
While you have to be at least 18 to win the $1 million prizes, the Buckeye State will also hold a college scholarship drawing each week for residents ages 12 to 17 who have gotten at least one shot. The prize covers in-state tuition, room and board, and books for any Ohio state college, university, community college or trade/technical school.
To be eligible, you must register at ohiovaxamillion.com. You’ll only need to register once to be eligible for all upcoming drawings. To register, you’ll need to give the Ohio Department of Health consent to verify your vaccination record. You may also need to provide your vaccination card as verification.
For more information, visit the Ohio Vax-a-Million FAQs.
Prizes: Five prizes of $1 million each; five college scholarships for residents ages 12 to 17.
Oregon is the latest state to announce a lottery for vaccinated residents. On June 28, the state will hold a drawing for a $1 million cash prize for residents who have received at least one dose. The Beaver State will also hold a drawing for a $10,000 prize in each of the state’s 36 counties.
While the cash prizes are for residents 18 and up only, residents ages 12 to 17 can win one of five college scholarships for $100,000.
Anyone who’s received at least one dose by June 27 will be eligible. The state just announced the program on May 21, so it’s still working out some details. But according to the state’s FAQ, the Oregon Lottery will only receive vaccination numbers; no names will be provided.
For more information, visit the state’s FAQ page.
Robin Hartill is a fully vaccinated certified financial planner and a senior writer at The Penny Hoarder. She writes the Dear Penny personal finance advice column. Send your tricky money questions to AskPenny@thepennyhoarder.com.