Covid-19 vaccination record card and cash money. Fake, vaccine card fraud and forgery concept
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A State-by-State Guide to Vaccine Incentives

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Covid-19 vaccination record card and cash money. Fake, vaccine card fraud and forgery concept
JJ Gouin/istockphoto

Vaccine Incentives by State

More Americans are getting their COVID-19 vaccinations every day, and vaccination rates currently range from 34% in Mississippi to 69% in Vermont. But, with only about half of the entire U.S. population age 12 and older receiving at least one dose of a vaccine as of late May — as well as vaccine demand slowing down in many states — leaders across the country have started to get creative with vaccine incentives. Offerings range from large sums of money via lottery drawings to park passes, gift cards, and more. Here is a state-by-state look at what's on the table in each state so far. 


Related: Are You Vaccinated? Claim These Discounts and Freebies as a Reward

Talladega Superspeedway Alabama
Sean Gardner/Getty Images

Alabama: NASCAR and More

While the Cotton State has yet to offer any official incentives — and is one of five states without an existing lottery system — State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris has said his office has looked into them. Meanwhile, communities like Talladega have been creative with incentives, allowing people to take a couple of laps around the Talladega Superspeedway before lining up for their date with a needle. 


Related: COVID-19 Skeptics Who Still Got Vaccinated

 

Floatplane Ready to Take Off
Spaceliner/istockphoto

Alaska: Nothing

Like Alabama, Alaska has no existing state lottery through which to offer vaccine incentives, and hasn't yet come up with any alternatives. But the state's Norton Sound Health Corp., which has more than a dozen hospitals and clinics across the state, has offered prizes to vaccinated residents that include airline tickets, $500 for gas or groceries, and money toward the purchase of an all-terrain vehicle.  


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Winning Lottery Scratch Game Ticket
BanksPhotos/istockphoto

Arizona: Nothing

While the Copper State doesn't have a statewide incentive program for getting vaccinated, local communities have some programs in place. Pima County, for example, recently gave out Arizona Lottery scratch-off tickets at two vaccine sites. 

Arkansas Game & Fish Commission
Arkansas State Legislature
California Governor Newsom Unveils His Economic Recovery Package For The State
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

California: Prize Money

On May 27, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced financial incentives for vaccinations though a program called Vax for the Win. The campaign will pay out a total of $15 million in prizes, which will include $50 cash cards, Friday drawings worth $50,000, and a June 15 drawing that will award $1.5 million each to 10 winners. 


heap of US Dollar bills, money background. Top view of business concept on background with copy space
Mykola Sosiukin/istockphoto

Colorado: A Chance at $1 Million

To encourage vaccinations, the state government has teamed up with the Colorado State Lottery and created Colorado Comeback Cash. The program will hold five drawings for a chance to win $1 million. Everyone getting their shots or who have already gotten their shots by June 1 and are in the state database will be automatically entered. The drawings will be held on June 4, June 11, June 18, June 25, and July 7. Under 18 but still getting vaccinated? Colorado is sorting out a scholarship fund, too, so stay tuned.  


Related: I Went to an NHL Playoff Game After a Year in Lockdown — Here's How It Went

New Canaan Connecticut
carminesalvatore/istockphoto

Connecticut: "Summer On Us"

Nutmeg State Gov. Ned Lamont announced on May 24 that Connecticut has launched an umbrella incentive campaign coined "Summer On Us," which includes more specific programs aimed at providing the vaccinated with free food, drinks, and fun. You can learn more about specific events and offers here.

DE Wins!
Delaware Government

Delaware: DE Wins!

On May 25, state leaders announced a new program called DE Wins! that will take place May 25-June 29. Vaccinated residents 12 and older will be entered to win $5,000 in cash and additional prizes in twice-weekly drawings conducted by the Delaware Lottery.

Gov. Ron DeSantis
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

Florida: Nothing (Probably Ever)

Christina Pushaw, Gov. Ron DeSantis' press secretary, said in an email to the Naples Daily News in May that the governor "is not and will never consider holding a ‘vaccine lottery’" in the Sunshine State. "Florida’s government and public health authorities have been very clear that the vaccines are safe and effective, protecting people from serious illness, and this should be enough motivation for Floridians to get vaccinated if they so choose," she said.

Georgia Gov. Kemp Covid Vaccine
Sean Rayford/Getty Images

Georgia: Nothing (Yet)

While no official state incentive program has arisen in Georgia, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution noted in mid-May that Mallory Blount, a spokeswoman for Gov. Brian Kemp, said his administration is “considering a variety of options."

Las Vegas
LPETTET/istockphoto

Hawaii: Sin City Incentives and More

The Aloha State's Lt. Gov. Josh Green told local news outlets in late May that he was looking to partner with some hotels in Las Vegas — Nevada, like Hawaii, does not have a state lottery — to offer vaccinated residents free stays. And officials with both the Retail Merchants of Hawaii and Hawaii Restaurant Association note they’ve been asked to find businesses willing to donate incentive gifts. 


Related: Must-See Vegas Attractions That Aren't on the Strip


Downtown Boise Idaho USA
benedek/istockphoto
Six Flags Great America Entrance
Kubrak78/istockphoto

Illinois: Free Six Flags Tickets

In mid-May, the Prairie State noted it had teamed up with Six Flags Great America to provide 50,000 free theme park tickets to residents who come to the park on June 5 and 6 (and potentially longer if turnout is high) to get vaccinated.

Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb and U.S. EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt
Scott Olson/Getty Images

Indiana: Nothing (So Far)

While Gov. Eric Holcomb has shared that he's not comfortable with the idea of a vaccine lottery, he hasn't ruled out the idea yet of other incentives. Local news reported on May 19 that while Holcomb "doesn’t see himself changing his mind about the way Indiana will incentivize the vaccine," he'd be willing to reconsider if "matters drastically decline."

Black Hawk County Courthouse
Wikimedia Commons

Iowa: Nothing

Gov. Kim Reynolds has said that while her team has reached out to "chambers and the businesses in some of the communities to offer incentives," more formal efforts have not been explored. Meanwhile, communities like Black Hawk County, which recently approved spending $10,000 to offer incentives for people to get vaccinated, are looking are more creative ways to boost numbers.

Aerial View Mid Day at the State Capital Building in Topeka Kansas USA
ChrisBoswell/istockphoto

Kansas: Nothing

While state officials haven't announced plans for a government-run incentive program, local community leaders like those on the Manhattan Area Recovery Task Force recently met to ask members to brainstorm ways to encourage more people to get vaccinated. 

Walmart Covid Vaccination
Sergio Flores/Getty Images

Kentucky: Cash Ball Tickets

The Bluegrass State debuted an incentive program in mid-May. That program offers residents 18 and older who get their shot at one of a number of Kroger and WalMart locations across the state a coupon for a free Cash Ball 225 ticket. Normally $1, the tickets offer a chance at a cash prize of up to $225,000. The promotion was limited, however; it was scheduled to run through May 21 or until 225,000 coupons were given out — whichever came sooner.

Bourbon Street, Louisiana During Covid
Sean Gardner/Getty Images

Louisiana: Incentives Coming ...

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards noted on May 20 that his administration was discussing financial incentives for encouraging Creole State residents to get vaccinated. “I would expect that pretty soon you’re going to hear that we are going to offer some things that make people — more people — take advantage of the opportunity to be vaccinated, but we haven’t made a decision as to what that’s going to look like or when,” Edwards said at news conference. 


L. L. Bean Store
L. L. Bean Store by Mike Mozart (CC BY)

Maine: Gift Cards, Baseball Tickets, and More

The Pine Tree State unveiled a program in the first half of May called "Your Shot To Get Outdoors." The campaign, a collaborative effort between private and public entities, will offer up 5,000 hunting licenses, 5,000 fishing licenses, 10,000 $20 L.L. Bean gift cards, and up to 5,000 Portland Sea Dog tickets and passes for Oxford Plains Speedway. The program will also include Maine Wildlife Park and state park day passes. 


Related: Outdoor Workouts Perfect for Social Distancing

Pile of money
Pineapple Studio / istockphoto

Maryland: VaxCash Lottery

The Free State is among the states offering a vaccine lottery it's calling VaxCash. The program is awarding $40,000 each day to vaccinated state residents, as well as a grand prize of $400,000, for a total of $2 million in prizes. The first recipient, announced on May 25, is from Baltimore County. The final grand prize drawing will be held on July 4.

US Massachusetts State Flag and Vaccine Covid-19 Corona Virus Concept bottle vial. Depth of field.
tulcarion/istockphoto

Massachusetts: Nothing

The Bay State, despite not providing any incentive program to its residents, still got kudos from President Joe Biden on a May livestreamed call, with the president noting that Massachusetts was doing "a hell of a job" getting its residents vaccinated. It was one of three states in the country at that time with more than 70% of its adults at least partially vaccinated.

Gretchen Whitmer Pfizer Covid Vaccine
Matthew Hatcher/Getty Images

Michigan: Nothing (Yet)

While Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has said state law precludes her office from offering lottery-type incentives like those in other states, she noted that her administration is looking into other ways to encourage residents to get vaccinated. In the meantime, Detroit has been giving away $25 gift cards to both those getting vaccinated and "good neighbors" who drive them there.

Man in canoe fishing up North
Willard/istockphoto

Minnesota: Fishing Licenses and Park Passes

On May 27, Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz announced new COVID-19 vaccination incentives. Starting Memorial Day weekend, the first 100,000 residents to get a shot will be eligible to receive free passes to state attractions, sports events, fairs, and state parks. Free fishing licenses were also among the incentives up for grabs.

Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves
Pool/Getty Images

Mississippi: Nothing

No surprise here. The Magnolia State has consistently ranked last when it comes to vaccination rates, and Gov. Tate Reeves has been mum on offering any incentives.

St. Louis, Missouri, USA Downtown Skyline
Sean Pavone/istockphoto

Missouri: Nothing (For Now)

While no incentives have yet been offered in the Show Me State, a local news outlet reported in the first half of May that, when asked if Missouri would consider programs similar to those in other states, Gov. Mike Parson had this to say: "We've got a marketing campaign out there that we spent several million dollars on trying to figure out OK, what is going to change the numbers. There's things we have in place, we sure want to evaluate all of those, but we will get to the point and probably talk to some of the businesses to figure out how we move forward on this."


Town Pump Gas Station
Town Pump Gas Station by m01229 (CC BY-SA)

Montana: Nothing

No state-run incentive campaigns are available in Big Sky Country. However, the Boseman Daily Chronicle reported in late May that the state's university system is partnering with the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services to offer students who get vaccinated a $10 Town Pump gift card for each vaccine shot. Town Pump is a Montana-based chain of convenience stores, travel plazas, hotels, and casinos.

Omaha Nebraska
Matt Bills/istockphoto

Nebraska: Nothing

Add Cornhusker Nation to the list of states that have not rolled out incentive campaigns to get more residents vaccinated, despite the fact that only about 41% of the state's population has been fully vaccinated. 


Related: How Does Your State's COVID Vaccine Rollout Stack Up?

Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak
Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Nevada: Nothing

The Silver State doesn't have any official incentive programs set up yet, but according to a local news outlet, which interviewed the Vegas Chamber's Cara Clarke, Gov. Steve Sisolak has "asked the Vegas Chamber to reach out to some of our members to see if they might be willing to offer some discounts for those who have gotten their vaccinations. It's a way to maybe incentivize people to get vaccinated, as well as reward those who have.”


New Hampshire Governor Christopher Sununu
Scott Eisen/Getty Images

New Hampshire: Nothing

As the New Hampshire Union Leader recently noted, Granite State residents won't get to compete in the same "game-show frenzy" that other states are allowing, as Gov. Chris Sununu "remains dead set against offering cash and fabulous prizes to lure hesitant New Hampshire residents." 

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy and wife Tammy Murphy
Bennett Raglin/Getty Images CC

New Jersey: Dinner with the Governor

Garden State residents who get vaccinated have a chance to sit down and have a meal with New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy and his wife, Tammy. But just in case that's not Jersey residents' idea of an incentive, the state is also offering free state parks passes, and Murphy noted that he was open to other incentives in the future. “We continue to be not opposed … to other incentives,” the governor recently said. “We’ve put a lot of these programs out ourselves and we’ll continue to look at whether or not we think there are others out there that make sense.”


Related: You Won't Believe These Weird Vaccine Incentives

Santa Fe, NM
DenisTangneyJr/istockphoto

New Mexico: Nothing (Yet)

A recent Albuquerque Journal story noted that while the Sunshine State has yet to set up any official incentive programs, state Department of Health officials are "certainly aware of what other states are doing,” and Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham recently noted she would consider employing the same ideas used in other states.

syringes and covid-19 vaccine ampoule lying on top of the US dollar.
Jae Young Ju/istockphoto

New York: A (Potential) $5 Million Lottery Ticket

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced a "Vax & Scratch" pilot program, a financial incentive for the still-unvaccinated to go ahead and get the shot. Those receiving a COVID-19 vaccine at one of 10 state-run vaccination sites May 24-28 received a $20 ticket for the Mega Multiplier lottery game. Prizes range from $20 to $5 million. "The chances of winning something in this program is one in nine," Cuomo noted. Residents 18 and older are eligible, according to a press release. In addition, the Empire State announced that it would also offer a full-ride scholarship to a public state university to those aged 12 to 17 getting vaccinated starting on May 27.

Greensboro
Kruck20/istockphoto

North Carolina: "Summer Cash Cards"

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services recently announced a program that will give $25 "summer cash cards" to Tar Heel State residents getting vaccinated at specific sites in Mecklenburg, Guilford, Rowan, and Rockingham counties. More information about the program can be found here.

North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum
Stephen Yang/Getty Images

North Dakota: Nothing (Yet)

A local news outlet reported in late May that while North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum's office was having "ongoing" conversations about incentive programs, "the state has no immediate plans to implement them." But residents shouldn't count out an incentive program being implemented at some point, as Burgum noted in an earlier interview that vaccine hesitancy would likely be addressed with "incentives versus requirements." 

Dollars
serts/istockphoto

Ohio: $1 Million Giveaways

In one of the first attention-grabbing vaccine-related promotions, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine announced that all vaccinated Ohioans 18 and up will be eligible to win $1 million, which will be up for grabs in five weekly drawings that began May 26. As an added bonus, 12- to 17-year-olds who have gotten vaccinated will be eligible for five full-ride scholarships to a state university.

Tulsa skyline, pond, and fountains
Davel5957/istockphoto

Oklahoma: Nothing

While unemployed Sooner State residents who return to work are eligible to receive a $1,200 stipend, no incentive program exists in Oklahoma for vaccinations. 

American hundred dollar bills as a money background. Business and finance concept
Ildar Imashev/istockphoto

Oregon: $1 Million Lottery

The Beaver State joined other lottery-incentivizing states in May. The "Take Your Shot" campaign will offer a $1 million prize in a lottery drawing, as well as $10,000 winners in each of the state's 36 counties. State officials also announced they would hold a special drawing for five $100,000 Oregon College Savings Plan scholarships to be awarded to vaccinated children ages 12 to 17. Everyone who has received at least one vaccine dose by June 27 will be eligible. 

Pennsylvania Station in Covid
Noam Galai/Getty Images

Pennsylvania: Nothing (Yet)

So far, the Keystone State doesn't have a financial incentive program to encourage residents to get vaccinated. Instead, it's taking a different approach: Gov. Tom Wolf, in collaboration with Pennsylvania's COVID-19 Vaccine Joint Task Force, announced that the state would life its mask mandate once 70% of residents have been vaccinated (the number was hovering around 50% at the time of the announcement). Meanwhile, communities like Philadelphia were considering offering financial incentives to encourage vaccinations.


Related: Diamonds and Pearls: The Fanciest Face Masks You Can Buy — and One You Can't

Rhode Island
SeanPavonePhoto/istockphoto

Rhode Island: Nothing (Yet)

While Rhode Island's Gov. Dan McKee and his administration haven't offered any state-sanctioned vaccination incentives, he noted in early May that he wasn't against the idea "if it was done in a way that made sense."

People walking in beautiful park on summer vacation trip.
MargaretW/istockphoto

South Carolina: Free Parks Admission

A local Columbia news station reported in late May that while Palmetto State senators had discussed some modest financial incentives at an April budget meeting, no such programs had yet been set up. However, more recently the state's public health director, Dr. Brannon Traxler, noted that his department would be partnering with the Department of Parks, Recreation, and Tourism to give free admission to those getting vaccinated in the coming weeks. 


Related: The State Park You Don't Want to Miss in Every State

South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem
Joe Raedle/Getty Images

South Dakota: Nothing

Count Kristi Noem among the governors who don't seem to have publicly weighed in on vaccine incentives. Not a huge surprise given that Noem is among a handful of governors who have chosen not to issue any statewide orders mandating business closures or lockdowns.

Related: Iconic Activities Canceled by COVID-19 in Every State

Tennessee Governor Bill Lee
Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images

Tennessee: Nothing

The Volunteer State doesn't have an incentive campaign and probably won't be adopting one, according to local news reports that indicate both Tennessee health officials and Gov. Bill Lee have no plans to offer such programs. 

Over Houston
Art Wager/istockphoto

Texas: Nothing

Imelda Garcia, who has helped lead Texas’s vaccination effort as the chair of the Expert Vaccine Allocation Panel and associate commissioner for laboratory and infectious disease services at the Department of State Health Services, told a Fort Worth news channel in late May that Gov. Greg Abbott's office has authorized outreach efforts at the local level "but wouldn’t say if they’re planning any incentives statewide." 

Spencer Cox
Spencer Cox by Utah Reps (None)

Utah: Nothing (Or "Not Dying")

After saying that an incentive program was likely coming for residents of the Beehive State in mid-May, Gov. Spencer Cox announced that no plans had been made and might not happen at all, ABC4 out of Salt Lake City reported. “It would be really great if we didn’t need any incentives at all,” Cox said to begin his explanation. “Hopefully not dying is a great incentive so we’ll continue to push those incentives for people and hopefully they’ll respond.”

People waiting in line upfront Mont Vert Cafe during COVID-19 pandemic
miromiro/istockphoto

Vermont: Nothing

Green Mountain State leaders haven't organized any large financial vaccine incentives, opting instead to promise that remaining COVID-19 protocol mandates would be lifted when the state reaches an 80% vaccination rate, and working with local businesses and employers to offer incentives on a smaller scale. 

Harbor Park, Norfolk, VA
Harbor Park, Norfolk, VA by Jeff Self (CC BY-NC-ND)

Virginia: Minor League Baseball Tickets

A report out of Richmond's ABC8 news outlet in late May noted that Virginia would likely not be among the states offering lottery-type prizes as vaccine incentive. "I don’t see us doing this large-scale use of federal funds or Virginia funds to incentivize that way," Virginia’s vaccine coordinator, Dr. Danny Avula, said in a recent briefing, adding: “There is some hesitation, at least on my part personally, to overly rely on incentives for something that is inherently good." The state has organized some more limited incentives, including offering criminal offenders free phone credits and care packages, and collaborating with the state's minor league baseball team to offer free tickets in exchange for vaccinations. 

Washington Vineyard Vista
ARSimonds/istockphoto

Washington: Nothing

Evergreen State Gov. Jay Inslee is hoping that a promise to fully reopen the state and lift restrictions before the already-scheduled date to do so — June 30 — will be enough to convince Washington residents to get their vaccine in the near future. Meanwhile, the state's small businesses, including wineries and breweries, are offering smaller-scale incentives to get people into vaccine clinics, the Seattle Times noted


savings bonds
larry1235/Shutterstock

West Virginia: Guns, Trucks, and More

In early June, Gov. Jim Justice announced new incentives for residents of the Mountain State while also proving that he knows how to read a room. All vaccinated West Virginians will be eligible to win one of two four-year college scholarships, two custom-outfitted trucks, 10 custom hunting guns, five lifetime hunting and fishing permits, or one of 25 weekend getaways to West Virginia state parks. There will also be two cash prize drawings: one for $1.588 million and a runner-up amount of $588,000. Drawings for the campaign run from June 20 through Aug. 4. This news is in addition to a program Justice announced in April that gives vaccinated residents between the ages of 16 and 35 $100 savings bonds. 

 

Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers
Pool/Getty Images

Wisconsin: Nothing (Yet)

Badger State Gov. Tony Evers has said that he is against lottery-style incentives to encourage vaccinations, but that his office was still considering other options. “I just question the use of that money for that purpose,” Evers said. “I think there’s a lot of businesses and others across the state that have suffered dramatically, and $1 million would go a long way to help get small businesses get back in place.”

Hiker in Grand Teton National Park USA
benedek/istockphoto

Wyoming: Nothing (Yet)

The Casper Star Tribune reported in mid-May that Gov. Mark Gordon's office has had "preliminary discussion about incentives but it’s still in the deliberative phase." In the same report, State Health Officer Dr. Alexia Harrist added that if the state does pursue vaccine incentives, the efforts would be catered to Wyoming’s rural nature. No timeline was offered, however, for when a decision could be made on a statewide incentive program.  


Related: Pandemic Phrases That Have Infected Our Vocabulary