Gov. announces four chances to win $1M with COVID-19 vaccine lottery

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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — On Thursday, Governor Roy Cooper announced a new incentive aimed at boosting vaccination numbers in North Carolina.

Cooper announced that if you’ve been vaccinated or plan to get one soon, you will be entered for a chance to win $1 million or a college scholarship.

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There will be four drawings over the next two months. Adults 18 and older who have already received at least one shot will be automatically entered into each drawing once. Those who receive it from this point going forward will be entered twice.

“We are making progress, but still need more people vaccinated to keep this virus from rising up again, that’s why North Carolina is using federal coronavirus relief funds for this program,” Cooper said during a news conference. “After seeing the benefit in other states, we believe this program will help get more North Carolinians vaccinated.”

Those ages 12-17 will be entered into four drawings for $125,000 college scholarships. Some in the Cape Fear feel this is a positive.

“The thing about the scholarship, I think that’s actually an amazing opportunity,” said resident Zayshawn McIver, who plans to get his first shot soon. “Especially for younger people that are still in high school and really don’t have a way out of town.”

Some were surprised by the announcement, and believe it could entice more people to get vaccinated.

“Oh I hope I win,” said Jackson Moore. “I was having some regrets about getting vaccinated, but now if there’s a million dollars on the line it could be a small price to pay.”

However, not everyone believes a financial incentive is the most ethical way to get shots in more arms.

“I think it should be what you want to do,” said Wilmington visitor Kevin Kelly. “A lot of people don’t believe in it, they think it’s this, they think it’s that. I think it should be something that you want to do, not something that should be pressured on you.”

The first drawing will be June 23 and will occur every other Wednesday until August 4.

You can watch the governor’s full announcement here.