First state winner of Covid vaccine lottery wins $50,000

·2-min read

The first winner of a Covid-19 vaccine lottery has taken home taking US$40,000 (A$51,594) after a US state implemented a program to incentivise people to take the jab.

Maryland is having 40 consecutive lottery draws for adults who have been vaccinated.

The draws are being done with a computer program that randomly selects a number from within the range of numbers provided to the lottery by Maryland’s health department

Pictured is a stock image of a person being immunised. Right is a photo of US dollar bills.
A person who has been vaccinated against Covid-19 has won $40,000. Source: Sipa USA/Getty Images

On Tuesday (local time), the first lottery winner was announced. Though they opted to remain anonymous, it was revealed they lived in Baltimore County.

“Congratulations to the first winner of our $40,000 VaxCash lottery drawing!” Governor Larry Hogan wrote on Twitter.

To be eligible for the lottery, people must be a resident in Maryland, vaccinated in the state and over 18 years old.

Once vaccinated, you are automatically entered into the draw.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 63 per cent of adults in Maryland have had at least one dose of a Covid vaccine.

Mr Hogan is hoping by the end of May, 70 per cent of the state will be vaccinated.

The 'VaxCash' lottery was announced last week and it aimed to encouraged reluctant residents to get vaccinated.

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Maryland’s statewide Covid-19 positivity rate has dropped below 2 per cent for the first time during the pandemic. The state is reporting 160 new confirmed cases — the lowest number since March 26, 2020.

Hospitalisations from the virus reached a seven-month low with 442 — the lowest level since October 19.

Several other states are holding similar promotions to encourage people to get vaccinated, including New York, Ohio and Oregon.

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