Louisiana To Offer Cash Prizes Up To $1 Million, Scholarships As Incentive For COVID-19 Vaccine

(Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images)

Varun Hukeri General Assignment & Analysis Reporter
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Louisiana is offering a rewards program that includes cash prizes up to $1 million and scholarships as an incentive for more people to receive their COVID-19 vaccine, Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards announced Thursday.

The initiative, dubbed “Shot in a Million,” will provide 14 residents who get at least one vaccine shot with the opportunity to win rewards, WAFB reported. Edwards introduced the rewards program Thursday afternoon during an announcement on COVID-19 vaccine incentives.

Residents over the age of 18 will have a chance to win $100,000 every week starting July 9 and one person will win a grand prize of $1 million at the end of July. Residents between the ages of 12 and 17 are eligible to win one of nine scholarships worth $100,000 being offered by the state.

“So all told, we’re giving away $2.3 million in cash and scholarships for people who decide to go sleeves up against COVID,” the governor said.

Edwards noted during Thursday’s announcement that residents will need to personally enter the lottery and will not be automatically enrolled once receiving the vaccine. Residents will be able to register Monday and drawings will take place throughout July, with the first lottery scheduled to take place July 14.

Louisiana joins several other states in creating a rewards program for those who receive their COVID-19 vaccine. States such as New York, Maryland and Ohio also said they’ll offer scholarships and lottery prizes for residents. West Virginia announced earlier in June that vaccine recipients would be randomly selected to receive firearms. (RELATED: ‘Joints For Jabs’: State Allows Weed Retailers To Give Out Free Joints To Vaccinated Customers)

The state ranks among the lowest in the nation in terms of the percentage of residents who have received at least one dose. Around one-third of residents aged 12 and older are fully vaccinated, according to data from the Louisiana Department of Health.

White House COVID-19 response coordinator Jeff Zients said earlier in June that around 63% of adults nationwide were partly or fully vaccinated. President Joe Biden said in March he wanted 70% of adults to get their first vaccine dose by July 4, though he is unlikely to achieve his goal as vaccination rates have stagnated.