PORTLAND, Ore. — Oregon Gov. Kate Brown on Friday announced the state will award dozens of cash prizes, including a $1 million jackpot, as an incentive for Oregonians to get vaccinated against COVID-19.
The “Take Your Shot Oregon” campaign will include 36 prizes of $10,000 – one for each Oregon county – and five $100,000 Oregon College Savings Plan scholarship winners for young people ages 12-17.
All Oregonians who have received at least one dose of the vaccine will be eligible to win prizes.
The random drawing will happen on June 28, with names announced the following week. Everyone vaccinated through June 27 will be eligible to win.
“Vaccines are the best tool we have to protect ourselves and our loved ones from COVID-19, and our fastest way to end this pandemic,” said Brown. “The Take Your Shot Oregon Campaign is a way to thank Oregonians for stepping up and keeping our communities safe. It’s never been easier to get a vaccine, so don’t miss your shot to enter!”
Other than getting the COVID vaccine, you do not have to do anything to enter. Your name will automatically be added to the random drawing. The drawing will include everyone who got a COVID shot in Oregon from the time COVID shots were first offered through June 27. People who got the shot at sites controlled by the federal government, including Veterans Affairs and tribal vaccination sites may be entered but that information is not routinely shared with the state.
The governor's office said they are working on ways to include those people and posted answers to frequently asked questions here.
The campaign is funded with $1.86 million from the federal Coronavirus Relief Act.
The Oregon Health Authority (OHA) will draw names for winners in each category with the assistance of the Oregon Lottery. Winners will be contacted and will have the chance to opt out or give their consent to receive their prizes.
Employees and family members of the Oregon Lottery, the governor’s office, the treasurer’s office and OHA will not be eligible to win any of the prizes.
Oregonians who decline to get vaccinated for health or religious reasons will also not be eligible to win.
Other states, including New York and Maryland, announced similar lottery prizes Thursday for people who get vaccinated. These programs follow the vaccine lottery in Ohio, where vaccinations spiked after the incentive was announced.
Dr. Ashby Monk, director of the Stanford Global Project, said Oregon approached him in April to ask if there were "gamification" strategies that could help encourage people to get the COVID vaccine. He said games that motivate people absolutely work and that many of us use some form of that in our lives.
"To help you eat right by tracking your food calories and leveling up every day. To work out more, competing against your friends through different applications. Study longer. I use it to sleep better. The academic research backs all this up. Games increase extrinsic motivation," he said.
Monk expects Oregon vaccinations could increase by 20% to 40% as a result of the jackpot drawings.
Gov. Kate Brown has said Oregon will drop most COVID restrictions when 70% of eligible adults get vaccinated. The lottery prizes are an attempt to get more people to get the shot so they can qualify for the awards.
When the governor announced the 70% target May 11, 430,000 more Oregonians needed to get at least the first shot to reach that goal. As of May 21 the number is 290,000, according to the Oregon Health Authority. At the current rate of vaccination the 70% goal could be reached during the second week in June.