Get a Vaccine, Win $1M? A State-by-State Guide to Incentives

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

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

Give It a Shot

More Americans are getting their COVID-19 vaccinations every day, and vaccination rates currently range from 29% in Mississippi to 65% in Vermont. But, with only about 46% of the entire U.S. population fully vaccinated as of late June — and vaccine demand slowing 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: You Won't Believe These Weird Vaccine Incentives

Floatplane Ready to Take Off

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

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. 

Related: COVID-19 Skeptics Who Still Got Vaccinated

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

California: Vax for the Win

In late May, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced financial incentives for vaccinations though a program called Vax for the Win. The campaign promised a total of $15 million in prizes, including $50 cash cards, Friday drawings worth $50,000, and a grand-prize drawing that awarded $1.5 million each to 10 winners in mid-June. California says it's not done yet: Vacations, the $50 cash cards, and Six Flags tickets are still on the table.

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

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

Connecticut: Summer on Us

Nutmeg State Gov. Ned Lamont announced in May that Connecticut 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

In late May, state leaders announced a new program called DE Wins that would take place through May and June. Vaccinated residents 12 and older were 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."

Empennages of airplane of Hawaiian Airlines and Japan Airlines

Hawaii: HI Got Vaccinated

Hawaiians who've received at least one of their COVID-19 shots and register online by the end of June will be eligible to win a wide range of prizes in the state's HiGotVaccinated program. Ten winners, for instance, will get 100,000 miles on Hawaiian Airlines, while others will get a Vegas vacation, Papa John's pizza for a year, or 1 million Marriott Bonvoy points. 

Downtown Boise Idaho USA
Jackpot by John (CC BY-NC-ND)

Illinois: All in for the Win

Illinois will incentivize vaccines with $10 million in cash and scholarships, Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced in mid-June. The state's "All in for the Win" lottery will give away cash prizes from $100,000 to $1 million and college savings plans worth $150,000 each. Drawings start July 8. It sure beats the Prairie State's earlier incentives, which included free tickets to Six Flags Great America.

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

Indiana: Nothing

Despite high-profile vaccine lotteries from some of its neighbors, Indiana has offered little incentive for residents to get vaccinated. As of late June, the state's health department said it was "not considering incentives at this time." 

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
Walmart Covid Vaccination
Sergio Flores/Getty Images

Kentucky: Shot at a Million

The Bluegrass State is dangling the chance to win cash or scholarships for all residents who've received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. The Shot at a Million program will kick off with the first of three drawings in early July. Residents 18 and up will be able to win $1 million, while those 12 to 17 will get a shot at a full ride to a state university. 

Bourbon Street, Louisiana During Covid
Sean Gardner/Getty Images

Louisiana: Shot at a Million

The Creole State, beset by the second-lowest vaccination rate in the nation, has decided to dangle a chance to win $2.3 million in cash and prizes as an incentive, Gov. John Bel Edwards recently announced. The lottery, also called Shot at a Million, will include a grand prize of $1 million for a Louisiana resident who has received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. Registration for the lottery began the last week of June. 

Related: Do You Know Your Official State Food?

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, offered 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 also included 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 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.

Massachusetts: VaxMillions

The Bay State, despite being one of the states with the highest vaccination rates, recently announced it would attempt to win over holdouts with giveaways of cash and scholarships. Registration for the program, called VaxMillions, begins July 1. There will be five drawings for $1 million, and five residents 12 to 17 will win a college scholarship. Only fully vaccinated residents are eligible to win. 

Related: The Most and Least Educated States in America

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

Minnesota: Fishing Licenses and Park Passes

In late May, Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz announced new COVID-19 vaccination incentives. Starting Memorial Day weekend, the first 100,000 residents to get a shot were 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 46% of the state's population has been fully vaccinated. 

Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak
Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Nevada: Vax Nevada Days

It's no surprise that the The Silver State has decided to join the crowd of states incentivizing COVID-19 vaccinations with a lottery. Vax Nevada Days, to be held July 8-Aug. 26, will dole out $5 million in cash and prizes, including a $1 million grand prize, smaller cash prizes up to $250,000, tuition prizes, annual state park permits, and more. 

Related: 25 Last-Minute Vacation Rentals for a Fourth of July Getaway

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.”

Santa Fe, NM

New Mexico: Vax 2 the Max

At the beginning of June, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham announced that vaccinated New Mexicans would be eligible to win $10 million in total prize money, to be awarded throughout the summer. Drawings that began in mid-June kicked off the sweepstakes with giveaways of $250,000 for four winners each week. One particularly lucky resident will win $5 million in early August.

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

New York: Vax & Scratch

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 ranged from $20 to $5 million. "The chances of winning something in this program is one in nine," Cuomo noted. 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.


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 in specific counties

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." 


Ohio: Vax-a-Million

In one of the first attention-grabbing vaccine-related promotions, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine announced that all vaccinated Ohioans 18 and up would be eligible to win $1 million in five weekly drawings that began May 26, dubbed Vax-a-Million. As an added bonus, 12- to 17-year-olds who have gotten vaccinated were also eligible for five full-ride scholarships to a state university. Though the incentive led to a large jump in vaccinations after the announcement, it didn't last, and Ohio's overall vaccination rate is still short of 50%.

Tulsa skyline, pond, and fountains

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: Take Your Shot

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 lift 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

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.

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
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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.

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

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

Washington: Shot of a Lifetime

Evergreen State Gov. Jay Inslee announced in early June that Washington would conduct a "Shot of a Lifetime" giveaway for vaccinated residents. The promotion includes four $250,000 prizes and one $1 million prize, plus college-savings plan funds for those 12 to 17 and miscellaneous prizes such as electronics and airline vouchers. Drawings are slated to conclude by mid-July. 

Beautiful English bulldog outdoor,selective focus and blank space

West Virginia: Do It For Babydog

In early June, Gov. Jim Justice announced new vaccine incentives, named the "Do It For Babydog" campaign, while proving he knows how to read a room — Babydog is the governor’s very cute 1-year-old English bulldog, and 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 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

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