1st drawing for Illinois COVID vaccine lottery Thursday

Illinois vaccine lottery sign up: No need to register, if you've already gotten 1 shot
CHICAGO (WLS) -- Thursday could be your lucky day if you've had at least one dose of the COVID vaccine in Illinois.

It's the state's first drawing for its vaccine lottery.

One vaccinated adult will win $1 million, and three minors will each win a $150,000 scholarship.

Residents who received at least one dose of the vaccine in Illinois are eligible.

"Everybody is going to want to do it because they want that chance. It's a good thing," said Sharon Hill.

This is the first of nine weekly drawings this summer. It's an incentive to get more people vaccinated.

RELATED: Illinois COVID Update: IL reports 462 cases, 6 deaths

The promotion will run until August 26 with a series of drawings for 43 cash prizes.

A total of $7 million in cash prizes will be handed out and $3 million in scholarships for children between 12 and 17 years old.

There has been a slight decrease in the number of people getting their shots, but, still, more than 7 million people across the state have received one shot.

If you want to enter the lottery, there's no need to sign up. Residents who received at least one dose of the vaccine before July 1 in Illinois are automatically entered into all nine drawings.

The opportunity has the Better Business Bureau of Chicago and Northern Illinois warning about possible scams.

"They contact people and they do one of two things: they try to steal information or they try to steal money," said Thomas Johnson with BBB of Chicago.

The winners will be contacted by the Illinois Department of Public Health by phone and email, and can stay anonymous.

The program's $10 Million pool of prize money is funded by federal grants, and while the idea of a vaccine lottery has gained momentum among state governments as vaccinations slow and the delta variant is detected, the incentive does have its critics.

Some question the ethics and a study by Boston researchers said similar programs don't work.

"Looking at other vaccines in the past, the strategies that seemed to work were not, sort of, cash incentives or other incentives, it was engagement and discourse," said Dr. Allen Walkey, a Boston University professor of medicine.

Visit Illinois.gov for more information.
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