(The Center Square) – North Carolina will give away $4 million in cash and cover college tuition for people who get vaccinated against COVID-19, Gov. Roy Cooper announced Thursday.
The giveaway is part of an initiative to motivate North Carolinians to get vaccinated. The money for the vaccine lottery comes from federal coronavirus aid, Cooper said.
The state will conduct four drawings for $1 million each for vaccinated adults and four college tuition drawings for children age 12 to 17. Each child will be eligible to win $125,000 toward post-secondary education in the state.
“A chance at a million dollars is pretty good motivation,” Cooper said. “But even if your name isn’t drawn, the worst you’ll do is get strong protection from a deadly virus.”
Reports show the strategy has worked in other states, including Ohio, California and Oregon.
WKYC-TV reported Ohio saw a 53% increase in vaccinations two weeks into the state’s vaccine lottery.
All North Carolinians age 12 or older who have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine are eligible for the lottery. Those who get vaccinated Thursday or Friday will be entered into the lottery twice.
The state will conduct the drawings every other Wednesday, starting June 23 through Aug. 4. New entries will close at midnight the Sunday before the Wednesday drawing.
“Everyone who gets a COVID-19 vaccination is a winner,” said Dr. Mandy Cohen, secretary of the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services. “They protect themselves, their loved ones and others from severe illness, hospitalization and death. Millions of people have already taken the vaccines. These summer cash drawings add another reward to the many that come with getting a COVID-19 vaccination.”