SOUTHERN SHORES, N.C. — Four North Carolinians could win a $1 million cash prize and four lucky students ages 12 to 17 can each get a $125,000 college scholarship. But you have to get at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine first.
If you’ve already gotten yours, don’t worry, you’re already entered! The drawings will be on June 23, July 7, July 21, and August 4.
“North Carolina will launch cash drawings for our residents who have gotten a vaccine,” said Gov. Roy Cooper on Thursday. It’s another incentive in hopes to boost vaccination numbers statewide.
“I encourage people to do it. Let's go,” said Courtney Zwart. “For a million dollars, I mean, shoot, I would do it again if I could!”
Zwart lives on the Outer Banks. She tells us the initiative in North Carolina is exciting to see.
“Regardless of who wins, there is no way to lose. A chance at a million dollars or a college scholarship is pretty good motivation,” said Cooper. “But even if your name isn’t drawn, the worst you’ll do is getting strong protection from a deadly virus."
Cooper’s announcement comes at a time when vaccine supply is far exceeding demand. Health experts hope this lottery will change that.
“We need to do better with vaccinations. Fewer people here in North Carolina are protected from COVID-19 than in many other states,” said Dr. Mandy Cohen, secretary of the North Carolina of Health and Human Services.
“What do you think about the vaccine lottery?” 13News Now asked Chuck Burdick.
“I think it's a great idea to get the rest of the people to get their vaccine,” he said.
Burdick is a vaccinated local on the Outer Banks. He’s hoping both older and younger generations take advantage of the new incentives.
“The level of infection here on the Outer Banks has gone way down and we really need that, especially with all the tourists that we have coming in,” he said.
If you receive your first shot of the COVID-19 vaccine right now, you’ll be entered into the drawings twice, doubling the chance to win either $1 million cash or the $125,000 college scholarship.
Federal coronavirus relief money is funding the lottery effort.
Cooper also announced Wednesday that the state is working to expand the $25 cash card program. It’s a vaccine incentive that has yet to reach our region.