West Virginia Republican Governor Jim Justice announced on Tuesday that his state would be giving away lots of highly desirable prizes as part of a lottery effort to get more of the state’s residents vaccinated against the coronavirus.
The lottery will run from June 20, which is father’s day, through August 4 and the drawings will happen once a week. To be eligible residents need to receive at least one vaccine shot.
The first lottery will include:
- One prize of $1 million
- Two full four-year scholarships to any West Virginia institution (must be aged 12-25)
- Two custom trucks
- 25 weekend getaways to West Virginia state parks
- Five lifetime hunting and fishing licenses
- Five custom hunting rifles
- Five custom shotguns
“West Virginia will give away 1 million dollar winner for 5 straight weeks,” WTRF reported. “The last lottery, on August 4, will consist of 2 grand prize winners. 1 winner will win $ 1,588,000 and another winner will win $588,000.”
“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 the first shot,” Justice said. “And, and that is wonderful, wonderful news. Also, today, we also hit 84%, of our 65 years of age and older. And so we’re 1%, 1% away from a lofty, lofty goal, to have 85% of our folks vaccinated, that are 65 years of age and older.”
During the press conference, Justice announced that the state has received tax revenue surpluses in the hundreds of millions of dollars over the last couple of months.
Justice also addressed the questions that some people may have about why the state is giving away prizes to get as many people vaccinated as possible, saying, “the faster we get them across the finish line, the more lives we save.”
“Absolutely, that’s all there is to it,” Justice continued. “It’s just as simple as just that, you know, the faster we get them across the finish line, the more money we save as a state. And absolutely these dollars become not minuscule, because these are real dollars that we’re giving away. But absolutely, at the end of the day, if the tab just keeps running, the cost is enormous. The testing cost is enormous. The hospitalizations are enormous. The deaths are really, really bad. And so we got to get our all of our folks across the finish line.”
The state is in the process of setting up a website where residents who have been vaccinated can enter their information for a chance to win one of the prizes.
Ohio Republican Governor Mike DeWine last month that adults who get vaccinated will be entered into a drawing to win $1 million and that children who get vaccinated will be entered into a drawing to win a full-ride scholarship to attend state universities in Ohio.
This report has been updated to include additional information and quotes from West Virginia’s governor.
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