• Tue. Sep 21st, 2021

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Maryland Dangles Lottery as Incentive to Boost Vaccination

It’s not every day that an American governor appears alongside a man dressed as a lottery ball.

But that’s exactly what happened on Thursday as Gov. Larry Hogan announced that Maryland would partner with the state’s lottery to provide $2 million in prize money for residents who get vaccinated.

“Our mission is to ensure that no arm is left behind and we’re committed to leaving no stone unturned and using every resource at our disposal to achieve that goal,” Mr. Hogan said.

Beginning May 25, the Maryland lottery will randomly select and award $40,000 to a vaccinated Marylander every day through July 4, when a final drawing will be held for a grand prize of $400,000. Any Maryland resident who has been vaccinated in the state will be automatically enrolled in drawings.

“The sooner you get your shot the more lottery drawings you will be eligible for,” he said, adding that “there’s no better time than now and there should be no more excuses.”

The state has administered about 5.7 million vaccines, and 44 percent of the state is fully vaccinated, according to a New York Times database. But like other states across the country, vaccination rates have tapered off. States have turned to an array of incentives — including beer, money, transit cards and joints — to get shots into the arms of more Americans.

“Promotions like this are just one more way that we’re reinforcing the importance of getting every single Marylander we can vaccinated against Covid-19,” Mr. Hogan said. All funding will be provided from Maryland’s lottery marketing fund.

“Get your shot for a shot to win,” he said, adding “that’s a good line.”

Maryland isn’t alone in trying to lure residents with the chance of big winnings. Earlier this month, Ohio’s governor, Mike DeWine, offered a $1 million lottery prize for five people who get vaccinated. That effort would be paid for by federal coronavirus relief funds, Mr. DeWine said during a statewide televised address.

And in New York, the state will hand out free scratch-off tickets for the “Mega Multiplier” lottery to those 18 and older who get their shot at 10 state mass vaccination sites next week, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Thursday. The pilot program lasts from next Monday to Friday. The tickets could yield prizes from $20 to the $5 million jackpot, he said.