Oregon latest state to use big lottery prizes to encourage COVID vaccines

Gov. Kate Brown says all vaccinated adults in state eligible to win $1 million. Ohio, New York and Maryland also offering vaccine prizes.

May 21, 2021 4:32pm

Updated: May 21, 2021 11:22pm

Oregon became the latest state Friday to create a lottery to encourage COVID-19 vaccinations, as Gov. Kate Brown announced every vaccinated adult is eligible to win $1 million. 

The prize applies to any Oregonian who at least one shot of COVID vaccine from Pfizer, Moderna, or the one-shot Johnson & Johnson.

Vaccinated residents ages 12 to 17 will all have a chance to win one of five $100,000 college scholarships. One Oregonian in each of the state's 36 counties will also have a chance to win a $10,000 prize.

The contest applies to illegal immigrants as well, Brown said.

Dubbed "Take Your Shot Oregon," the vaccine contest is a collaboration between the Oregon Health Authority and the Oregon Lottery and paid for with $1.86 million in federal Coronavirus Relief Act money.

The Oregon Health Authority will randomly draw names for winners in collaboration with the Oregon Lottery. Winners will be chosen June 28.

"Every day, we're getting closer to ending this chapter of the pandemic," Brown said. "Vaccines are the best tool we have to protect ourselves and our loved ones from COVID-19, and our fastest way to end this pandemic."

Oregon's contest mirrors that of Ohio's, which was announced last week. Since the announcement of Ohio's "Vax-a-Million" campaign, the state's health department reports vaccination rates jumped by 28%.

New York and Maryland have followed suit with their own multi-million dollar vaccine lotteries.