On Thursday, California Governor Gavin Newsom announced the incentives for vaccination, which included the change for ten Californians to win $1.5 million just for getting the jab. It’s worth pointing out that the 20 million Cali residents who have been partially or fully vaccinated will also have a chance to win prizes, not just the 12 million or so who are eligible for the vaccine but have yet to get it.
With the state set to reopen fully next month, the prize pool is an effort from Newsom to get 70 percent of the state’s population vaccinated before June 15. “We’re putting aside more resources than any other state in America, and we’re making available the largest prizes of any state in America for those that seek to get vaccinated," Newsom said, per the Associated Press.
There will also be $50,000 prizes for 30 winners across two different dates this June, and $50 incentive cards for newly vaccinated people for grocery stores will also be distributed. Asked whether the cost of these efforts makes sense, Newsome said the “cost of not getting vaccinated is exponentially, incalculably higher.”
California is not the first state to offer cash incentives for people getting the COVID-19 vaccine, with Ohio announcing plans to do the same earlier this month. "On May 26th, we will announce a winner of a separate drawing for adults who have received at least their first dose of the vaccine. This announcement will occur each Wednesday for five weeks, and the winner each Wednesday will receive one million dollars," said Ohio Governor Mike DeWine.