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North Carolina governor announces $1 million cash lottery incentive for COVID vaccinations

Vaccinations have leveled off in North Carolina, but health leaders are offering big money!

RALEIGH, N.C. — North Carolina is offering big money for you to get the COVID-19 vaccine. Gov. Roy Cooper and the COVID-19 task force announced Thursday a new cash lottery incentive. Four people will win $1 million through the "It's your shot at a million" summer cash drawing. 

State leaders said people who get the COVID-19 vaccine or who have already received the vaccine will be automatically entered into the drawing. There will be four separate drawings with the first one on June 23. The drawings will occur every other week on Wednesdays until the last one on Aug. 4.

You could be entered into the drawing more than one time. 

"For extra incentive, anyone getting their first shot from today going forward will be entered twice for each drawing," Cooper said.

It's the state's latest and biggest effort to get more shots into arms. 

“We need to pull out all the stops,” Cooper said.

More than half of North Carolina adults 18 and older have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Despite that milestone, the state is struggling to get more people immunized. Vaccination rates remain slow in the state with less than 1% improvements daily.

"Getting that first shot now will double your chances each time a name is picked. Of course, the best reason to get vaccinated is to protect yourself and your family. Now that most people aren’t wearing masks in most places, unvaccinated people can be a real danger to each other," Cooper said. 

Even kids and teens who have gotten the vaccine will be entered for the chance to win money. Ages 12-17 will be automatically entered into four drawings to win $125,000 towards post-secondary education. The $125,000 can be used at any post-secondary institution and will come from an NC 529 account. 

"Regardless of who wins, there’s no way to lose. A chance at a million dollars or a college scholarship is pretty good motivation. But even if your name isn’t drawn, the worst you’ll do is get strong protection from a deadly virus," Cooper said.

The new entries will be added to the drawing and will close at midnight on the Sunday prior to the Wednesday drawing. 

The state will then verify the winners and announce them.  

State leaders said if you win your name will be made public and the winnings will be taxed.

The money will come from the federal Coronavirus Relief Fund. None of the vaccine lottery funds come from the North Carolina Education Lottery. 

Click here to find a vaccine provider near you. You can even narrow down your search by vaccine preference.

Call the Vaccine Help Center at 888-675-4567.

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