CHICAGO (CBS) — Whether you’ve chosen to be vaccinated or not, it’s clear we all have our reasons why.
But if you’re not in a hurry to get your first dose, would money change your mind?READ MORE: Annette Nance-Holt Confirmed As Chicago's First Black Female Fire Commissioner
As CBS 2’s Marie Saavedra reported, Gov. JB Pritzker made a brief mention this week that a vaccine lottery is coming to Illinois. So we crossed state lines to where it’s already happening, to find out where they get the money and who’s winning big.
In Ohio, the Vax-A-Million campaign represents the next phase of vaccine incentives. Beyond your health, a shot in the arm can earn you cash.
The Ohio campaign is five weeks of prizes for vaccinated residents who enter online. A tweet from Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine shows Jonathan Carlyle looking exuberant after learning he was this week’s million-dollar winner.
Congratulations, Jonathan! You just won a million dollars! Thank you for getting vaccinated! pic.twitter.com/EalWPMBagX
— Mike DeWine (@MikeDeWine) June 3, 2021
There is a student winner too. This time it’s Zoie Vincent, whose shots earned her a four-year full ride scholarship to any state college.
Congratulations, Zoie – our Vax-a-Million scholarship winner! Zoie is out of town for her aunt’s wedding, but we were able to congratulate her over FaceTime! If you’re between 12 & 17 and had at least one dose of the vaccine, you could be next! Sign up at https://t.co/ZmJ8iKoSlV pic.twitter.com/tgfpfgUTYa
— Mike DeWine (@MikeDeWine) June 3, 2021READ MORE: Red Cross Seeking Donations As Blood Shortage Worsens
It’s an idea with enough popularity that our state wants in.
“The General Assembly has also paved the way for Illinois to join the bipartisan coalition of states utilizing vaccine lotteries to encourage more residents to get vaccinated,” Gov. Pritzker said.
Pritzker announced Tuesday that Illinois be one of at least nine states offering lottery prizes for the people protected from COVID-19.
“The best thing we can do, of course, to protect ourselves and our loved ones is to have as many people vaccinated as possible,” Pritzker said. “So be on the lookout for announcements on this front very soon.”
The first and biggest question is how the state will pay for it. The Governor’s office didn’t say, but Ohio and several other states are using federal COVID response money they’ve received, or state funds that were already available for vaccine outreach.
But does it work? Ohio says yes.
After it announced the lottery in mid-May, the two weeks that followed saw the weekly average number of shots given jump up 77 percent – or more than 100,000 people newly vaccinated. And those are numbers Illinois is willing to gamble on.
According to published reports, Illinois set aside $7 million in prize money for a vaccine lottery, and $3 million in scholarships for minors who get vaccinated.
What we’ll be waiting to hear from the state and the Illinois Lottery is the structure. Will this be several weeks of drawings, and it that cash from federal funds?MORE NEWS: CTU: Layoffs Will Hit Hardest Schools On South, West Sides
We’ll be sure to follow it.