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4:13 PM, Feb 27, 2020

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California announces vaccine incentive program, including $116M in prize money

COVID-19 vaccination
Posted at 1:38 PM, May 28, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-28 13:38:34-04

Californians can win cash prizes as part of a new state program aimed at getting more people to get a COVID-19 vaccine by the time the state reopens next month.

Gov. Gavin Newsom’s office on Thursday announced the Vax for the Win incentive program, a “historic” $116.5 million initiative “designed to motivate Californians to get their vaccination leading up to the state’s reopening on June 15. The incentives aim to give an extra nudge to those who still need to get vaccinated against COVID-19, especially those in hard-to-reach communities, while also thanking everyone who has already been vaccinated.”

According to the governor’s office, the Vax for the Win program is the "biggest in the nation" and it includes:

  • $100 million in $50 prepaid or grocery cards for the next two million newly vaccinated Californians
  • $16.5 million in cash prizes for all vaccinated Californians

The state said Californians age 12 and older are eligible for cash prize drawings, as long as they are at least partially vaccinated.

Here is the state’s breakdown of the prizes, including drawing dates and eligibility:

$16.5M IN CASH PRIZES FOR ALL VACCINATED CALIFORNIANS

  • $15 MILLION GRAND CASH PRIZES FOR 10 WINNERS: Ten winners will be selected on June 15 to win cash prizes of $1.5 million each, totaling $15 million in cash prizes. Californians with at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine who are 12 years of age and older will be eligible to win. If someone under 18 wins, the cash will be put in a savings account for them until they turn 18.
  • $50,000 FRIDAYS FOR 30 WINNERS: Thirty winners will be selected to win a $50,000 cash prize each, with fifteen winners selected on Friday, June 4 and fifteen winners selected on Friday, June 11 – totaling $1.5 million in cash prizes. Californians with at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine who are 12 years of age and older will be eligible to win. If someone under 18 wins, the cash will be put in a savings account for them until they turn 18.

$100M INCENTIVE CARDS FOR NEWLY VACCINATED CALIFORNIANS

  • $50 INCENTIVE CARDS FOR THE NEXT 2 MILLION VACCINATED CALIFORNIANS: Beginning May 27, the next two million people who begin and then complete their COVID-19 vaccination will automatically be eligible for a $50 Virtual Prepaid Card (which can be spent online, in-store where major debit cards are accepted, or added to a mobile wallet), or a $50 grocery gift card for Kroger (Ralphs, Food 4 Less, Foods Co.) or Albertsons.

Newsom said of the program: “Getting every eligible Californian vaccinated is how we bring our state roaring back from this pandemic. California has already made incredible progress in the fight against COVID-19, with the lowest case rates in the country while administering millions more vaccines than any other state. But we aren’t stopping there, we’re doing everything it takes to get Californians vaccinated as we approach June 15 to help us fully reopen safely.”

This story was originally published by Jermaine Ong at KGTV.