Get A Shot, Win A Shot At $5M: New York Gives Lottery Tickets To Vaccine Recipients

Written By Martin Harris on May 21, 2021 - Last Updated on November 30, 2022
New Yorkers getting the COVID-19 vaccine next week will be in the running to win up to $5 million.

Many who get a COVID-19 vaccine shot in New York next week won’t just reduce their chances of getting the virus and/or falling ill. They will also increase their chances of winning money — potentially up to $5 million!

That’s because New York has joined the list of states using lottery prizes as extra incentive for getting COVID-19 vaccinations.

On Thursday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced anyone who gets vaccinated at one of 10 state-run mass vaccination sites will receive a free $20 New York State Lottery Scratch-Off Ticket.

Program a way to ‘get creative’ about incentivizing vaccinations says Gov. Cuomo

The lottery tickets will be provided free to individuals 18 and older who receive either their first dose of the Pfizer vaccine or the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine at one of the participating sites.

The sites are located throughout the state in a variety of locations, including:

  • Central New York (Syracuse)
  • Finger Lakes (Henrietta)
  • Long Island (Stony Brook)
  • Hudson Valley (Yonkers)
  • Mohawk Valley (Utica)
  • New York City (Brooklyn, Bronx, Jamaica, and Manhattan)
  • Western New York (Buffalo)

The sites will be open Monday, May 24 through Friday, May 28 from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Individuals can visit the sites either as a walk-in or by appointment.

According to the announcement, the new program will likely continue in the future, potentially to include additional vaccination sites.

“We know that vaccinations are the vital piece of the puzzle we need to crush COVID once and for all,” said Gov. Cuomo. “We’re going to have to get creative to put even more shots in arms.”

Prizes range from $20 to $5,000,000

The $20 tickets are for the popular $5 Million Mega Multiplier game.

According to the New York Lottery website, the odds of winning the top prize of $5 million are 1 in almost 4.5 million. The odds of winning the second prize of $50,000 are about 1 in 397,000.

Meanwhile the chance of winning the smallest prize of $20 is a little better than 1 in 9.

Checking the latest tally by the New York Times, New York ranks 10th in the country with 44% fully vaccinated residents. A total of 53% of New Yorkers have received at least one vaccine shot, also 10th in the US.

The state has administered nearly 18.4 million vaccine shots to date, the third-most in the country behind California and Texas.

New York program follows similar ones in Ohio, Maryland

Other states have similarly rolled out programs gifting lottery prizes to those getting vaccine shots.

Ohio was the first state to offer such a program, announcing it last week. The Ohio Lottery is overseeing a lottery portal that will award $1 million to one lucky individual each week. The program will also award one full scholarship to an Ohio University per week to those aged 12-to-17.

The Ohio program will continue for the next five weeks, with the first prizes awarded next Wed., May 26.

Yesterday Maryland also announced a similar program to incentivize people to get vaccinated.

In Maryland’s program, the state’s health department will start assigning random numbers to those receiving vaccinations and drawing one winner each day. The winners will receive a handsome $40,000 prize. On July 4, the final day of the program, a grand prize of $400,000 will be awarded.

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