Your “shot” at Millions
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How are state's trying to get people vaccinated? In many different ways.

Your “shot” at Millions

In the United States, many state governments have come up with some really creative ways to encourage people to get their COVID-19 vaccinations. Ohio’s “Vax-a-Million” lottery allows every Ohioan who has received at least one COVID vaccine shot to enter into a drawing to win $1 million. Ohio’s vaccinated teenagers ages 12-17 are given a chance at a full-ride scholarship to any Ohio state college or university. Colorado and Oregon also offer the chance at a $1 million prize.

The state of Maine is giving away free fishing and hunting licenses. New York is raffling 50 full-ride scholarships. West Virginia is offering scholarships, pickup trucks, and cash. Vaccinated Minnesota residents will receive state park passes, amusement park tickets, and passes to the state fair. Arkansas will give you a $20 lottery scratch-off ticket if you get vaccinated and the chance to win $1 million. California is giving away a total of $116.5 million in vaccine prize money as well as two million $50 gift cards.

It’s not just states that are trying to motivate people to get their shots. Companies are following suit as well. Kroger is holding five $1 million payouts for anyone who gets vaccinated through their pharmacy, as well as fifty chances to win free groceries for a year. Krispy Kreme is giving away free donuts when you show your vaccine card. Anyone who is vaccinated at CVS is entered into drawings for free cruises, vacations, and gift cards. And United Airlines will give away a year of free flights (26 round trip tickets) to five winners who show a photo of their vaccine card.  United Airlines is also giving away one free round-trip flight for two for another thirty lucky winners.

But is all of this actually working? The answer is a resounding “yes.” In Ohio, vaccination rates rose by 45 percent in the two weeks following the Vax-a-Million announcement. Among 16- to 17-year-olds, it rose a whopping 94 percent.

What Do You Think? A group of state lawmakers in Ohio have tried to put forward legislation to stop the Vax-a-Million lottery, calling it a waste of taxpayer dollars. Do you agree or disagree with them? Why?
Valerie Cumming

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