Alaska announces weekly $49,000 lottery to encourage COVID-19 vaccination

A client shows her sticker after getting a first dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine at a mass vaccination clinic at the Captain Cook Hotel in Anchorage on March 24, 2021 (Lex Treinen/Alaska Public Media)

Alaskans have a new incentive to get vaccinated against COVID-19: a chance to win $49,000 each week.

The lottery program, called Give AK a Shot, was announced Thursday. It’s organized by the Alaska Chamber and paid for with roughly $1 million in federal CARES Act funding, received through a grant from the state health department.

Each week through the end of October, Alaska residents who submit proof that they got the first dose of an approved COVID-19 vaccine during the previous week to will be entered into the drawing.

One adult and one youth will win $49,000 apiece every week. For Alaskans age 18 and up, the prize is paid in cash. For the younger winners, the $49,000 will be paid into a scholarship fund, plus their parents will receive an extra $10,000 cash if they’re also vaccinated.

To be eligible for the lottery, residents must have gotten their vaccine shot in Alaska. The first drawing entries are due by Sept. 11, and the first winners will be announced Sept. 16.

Alaska Chamber President and CEO Kati Capozzi tied the new program to economic recovery.

“More people choosing to vaccinate will directly result in a healthier workforce and health care system and help get our economy back on track, which is what the Alaska Chamber is all about,” she said at a news conference on Thursday announcing the program.

For Alaskans who got vaccinated prior to Sept. 2, there is still a chance to win $49,000. Those residents can submit their proof of vaccination online any time between now and Oct. 30. Two winners from that group will be announced on Nov. 4.

About 55% of Alaskans 12 years and older have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, putting Alaska 33rd out of the 50 states.

Correction: This story has been updated to clarify that only those who were newly vaccinated are eligible for the weekly drawing.

Alaska Public Media

Alaska Public Media is our partner station in Anchorage. KTOO collaborates with partners across the state to cover important news and to share stories with our audiences.

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