Gavin Newsom, the Governor of California, announced during a briefing Thursday that in order to incentivise more people in the state to receive the Covid-19 vaccination, cash prizes will be given, as well as lottery drawings to reward people who have already been vaccinated.
This program is being called Vax for the Win, and is a $116.5 million vaccine incentive program. The program forms two money pots: $100 million worth of $50 prepaid or grocery cards for the next 2 million people who go and receive a vaccine, and $16.5 million in cash prizes for 40 winners. The cash prizes are available to those who have been at least partially vaccinated.
On June 15, 10 people will find out if they will receive the grand prize of $1.5 million. To be eligible, you have to be at least 12 years of age and must have received at least your first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. You will receive the prize money only after you have completed both your vaccination
According to the governor’s office, approximately 63% of Californians who are 12 years or older are at least partially vaccinated. However, around 12 million people who are eligible have still not been vaccinated.
There will be two Fridays – 4 June and 15 June – where 15 people will receive cash prizes of $50,000 on each of these days. It is important to note that incarcerated people and people who live out of state are not eligible for the program.
The California Department of Public Health will privately inform the people who win the cash prizes. Names will not be publicly announced during the drawings. Winners will get the opportunity to either decline having their name be made publicly known or even decline the prize altogether.
The disbursement of the prizes will be handled by the State Controller’s Office. If the winner owes any back taxes, child support payments, or liens, it could impact how much cash they receive. It is important to note that state officials said immigration status does not affect eligibility for the prizes. You can sign up for the program through the link https://covid19.ca.gov/vax-for-the-win/.