CHICAGO (CBS) — The first $1 million winner of the vaccine lottery in Illinois is a Chicago resident, with three young people also being awarded the first set of $150,000 scholarships.
Gov. JB Pritzker’s office said the first four winners in the state’s $10 million “All In for the Win” vaccine lottery will be notified by phone and email on Thursday afternoon.READ MORE: Chicago Police Restrict Time Off For Officers Amid Battle Between City Hall, FOP Over COVID-19 Vaccine Mandate
The Illinois Department of Public Health will call winners from 312-814-3524 and/or email from DPH.firstname.lastname@example.org. Winners will be announced eight days after each drawing, unless they choose to remain anonymous.
Winners will not be asked for any personal information in the initial phone call or email notification. They will have seven days to complete, sign, and send their authorization form to the state to accept their prizes. The Illinois Lottery will then assist them with the claims process.
Throughout summer, the Illinois Lottery will be drawing names of adults who have been vaccinated, and giving out cash prizes ranging from $100,000 to $1 million. For kids age 12 to 17 who have had at least one dose of the vaccine, they can win a Bright Start college savings plan worth $150,000 each – the equivalent of a full ride at any four-year public university in Illinois.
The first drawing in the lottery was held Thursday, and the first $1 million cash prize winner is from Chicago. A DeKalb County resident, a suburban Cook County resident, and a Chicago resident won the first three $150,000 scholarships being awarded to vaccinated youths between 12 and 17 years old.
“Getting vaccinated is your shot to save lives and win big,” Pritzker said in a statement. “Especially with more dangerous variants spreading, getting vaccinated is the best way to protect yourself from COVID-19. I’m excited we’re able to offer enticing prizes to reward residents for getting the shot.”READ MORE: Artist Nate Baranowski Uses Chalk Art To Bring Halloween Festivity To Howard Street In Rogers Park
Anyone who received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine by July 1 in Illinois was eligible for the first drawing, and automatically entered in the contest. State officials have said they will continue adding people to the eligibility list as they get vaccinated ahead of future drawings, which will continue through August 26, with a series of 43 cash prizes and 20 scholarship awards.
“With 10 million additional reasons to get a COVID-19 vaccine, we hope to increase the number of Illinoisans who make the importance choice to secure the best protection against COVID-19 by getting vaccinated,” Illinois Department of Public Health Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike said in a statement. “We are seeing an increase in the test positivity rate in Illinois. With the more contagious Delta variant circulating, we need more people to be fully vaccinated to better control this pandemic.”
For more information on the prizes and schedule of the ‘All In for the Win’ vaccine lottery, visit allin.illinois.gov.
Meantime, the Better Business Bureau of Chicago and Northern Illinois is warning residents of the potential of vaccine lottery scams.
Officials said other states with similar lotteries have reported scam attempts.
“With the announcement of Illinois first selection of $1 Million dollars, and no official entry process, we know reports of fraud attempts will be coming in the aftermath,” Steve Bernas, president and CEO of BBB of Chicago and Northern Illinois said in a written release.MORE NEWS: City Officials, Community Leaders Hit Streets To Urge People To Get First COVID-19 Shots, Boosters, And Flu Shots
The BBB has released the following tips for Illinois residents to use as protection from a potential scam:
- No one is required to pay money to enter the lottery. Vaccinated residents are automatically entered.
- Don’t give out the information on your vaccine cards, as hackers can use that information to access accounts
- Law enforcement officials or other government agencies do not call and offer or award prices
- Remember there is only 1 winner per week, and that winner will be widely publicized.
- Always check with the State of Illinois and get the return number of the person before you give any information.