Lotteries, discounts and beer among incentives being offered to increase vaccinations

Biden wants 70% partially vaccinated by July 4
Vaccine Incentive Programs
Posted at 11:43 AM, Jun 02, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-02 12:36:51-04

TAMPA, Fla. — As businesses, states and the federal government try to convince millions of hesitant Americans to get vaccinated against COVID-19, many are leaning on the carrot, instead of the stick.

Instead of mandates and punishment, i.e. the stick, to get the desired result, in this case, vaccinations; the carrot, or reward, is being used in an increasing number of places to try to get the country closer to herd immunity against COVID.

Vaccine rewards got underway in earnest earlier this year when Krispy-Kreme became one of the largest companies to offer vaccinated Americans a reward, a free doughnut with proof of vaccination. To date, Krispy-Kreme said they have handed out more than 1.5 million doughnuts and the reward has not hurt business.

Since then, there have been vaccine lotteries, free tickets to events and parks, gift cards and even several instances of events featuring discounted or free drinks. Some businesses have even jumped into the fray to offer employees incentives including cash, paid time-off and more in hopes of increasing vaccine usage.

There are notable exceptions, with Florida being one of the biggest. State leaders said they wouldn’t be offering incentives to get people vaccinated against COVID-19, but businesses and some local governments have tried to fill in the large gap left by the state’s inaction with incentives of their own.

Here’s a list of what states and businesses are offering to try and get more people vaccinated (Source: National Governor's Association)

  • Alabama
    • The Talladega Superspeedway is offering people aged 16 and older who choose to be tested and/or vaccinated the thrill of driving their car or truck on the 2.66-mile track. Drivers and their riders will take two laps behind a pace car at highway speed, including the 33-degree-high banks.
  • Arkansas
    • Executive branch state agency employees who get at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine by July 1 will receive a $100 bonus.
    • Starting May 26, Arkansans who get a COVID-19 vaccination can receive a $20 Arkansas Game and Fish certificate for fishing/hunting licenses or a $20 lottery ticket that could win a million dollars.
  • California “Vax for the Win“
    • 10 winners selected on June 15 to win cash prizes of $1.5 million each. Any Californian ages 12 or over who has had at least one dose of the vaccine will be eligible to win — no entry necessary. If a minor wins, the funds will be put into a savings account until they turn 18;
    • 30 winners selected on “$50,000 Fridays. ”Fifteen winners will be selected on June 4 and fifteen more will be chosen on June 11 to win a $50,000 cash prize each. If a minor wins, the funds will be put into a savings account until they turn 18;
    • The next 2 million Californians who begin and complete their COVID-19 vaccinations, starting Thursday, will be eligible to receive a $50 virtual prepaid card or a $50 grocery gift card for Kroger or Albertsons while supplies last.
  • Colorado
    • The Colorado Department of Corrections has announced it will provide $500 any of its more than 6,000 staff members who gets fully vaccinated against the coronavirus.
    • Colorado Comeback Cash – The Colorado Lottery will conduct a random weekly drawing on behalf of the Colorado Department of Health & Environment to identify one vaccinated Colorado resident each week to win a million-dollar cash prize. All Colorado residents age 18 and older who have received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine, as determined by eligibility rules, are automatically entered into the drawing.
  • Connecticut
    • The Connecticut Restaurant Association is partnering with Governor Ned Lamont and the State of Connecticut to launch the #CTDrinksOnUs campaign, where participating Connecticut restaurants will offer complimentary drinks to vaccinated patrons beginning May 19.
  • Delaware
    • Delaware officials are offering to inmates five days of good time credits, a free video visit, snack bag or a special meal, and an opportunity to be scheduled first for in-person visitations when they resume.
    • DE Wins
      • Delawareans 12 to 17 who receive a vaccine in Delaware will be entered into a raffle for a full scholarship to a Delaware university.
      • Delawareans 18 and older vaccinated in Delaware between May 25 and June 29 will have the opportunity to win cash prizes.
        • Other prizes include tickets to Firefly, four-day vacations at destinations in Delaware, a dart pass for a year, and free tolls within the state of Delaware.
      • All Delawareans who have been vaccinated in Delaware are eligible to win $302, 000 and two low-number license plates.
      • Delaware officials are offering to reimburse bars, restaurants, and shops that offer discounts, freebies or other incentives to customers who get vaccinated.
  • Illinois
    • Illinois will give out 50,000 free Six Flags tickets to anyone who has been vaccinated through a partnership with Six Flags Great America payment.
  • Indiana
    • State health officials announced that anyone who gets vaccinated at specially designated sites will receive a box of Girl Scout cookies along with the shot.
  • Kentucky
    • The Kentucky Lottery announced May 10 that, starting immediately, people 18 or older who get a first or second dose of the vaccine at a Kroger or Walmart location will receive a coupon for a free Cash Ball 225 ticket.
  • Maine “Your Shot to Get Outdoors”
    • Any Maine resident age 18 and older who gets their first shot of a Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, or the single-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine in Maine will qualify to receive one of the rewards below:
      • Fishing License: The Maine Department of Health and Human Services will purchase up to 5,000 year 2021 fishing licenses for Maine residents from the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife.
      • Hunting License: The Maine Department of Health and Human Services will purchase up to 5,000 year 2021 hunting season licenses for eligible Maine residents from the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife. Eligible Maine residents include those who have completed a hunter safety course, have previously held a license, and are not felons.
      • Maine Wildlife Park Pass: The Maine Department of Health and Human Services will purchase up to 5,000 passes to the Maine Wildlife Park in Gray, which are good for admission through the 2021 season, from the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife. One pass allows admission for up to two people.
      • Maine State Park Day Pass: The Maine Department of Health and Human Services will purchase up to 5,000 day passes for Maine residents to Maine State Parks through the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry. The passes can be used through June 15, 2021. One pass allows admission for one vehicle.
      • L.L.Bean Gift Card: The Maine Department of Health and Human Services will purchase up to 10,000 $20 gift cards from L.L.Bean for use at their stores.
      • Sea Dogs Admission Ticket: The Maine Department of Health and Human Services will purchase up to 5,000 tickets from the Portland Sea Dogs, the Double-A affiliate of the Boston Red Sox, for baseball games at Hadlock Field in Portland for 2021 regular season.
      • Oxford Plains Speedway Pass: The Maine Department of Health and Human Services will purchase from Oxford Plains Speedway up to 5,000 tickets for weekly events in the 2021 racing season.
  • Maryland
    • The state will offer a $100 financial incentive to state employees who elect to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. To receive the incentive, employees must provide their HR office with proof of vaccination, and agree to receive all subsequent CDC-recommended booster vaccinations within 18 months of being fully vaccinated. The incentive is retroactive, so that all state employees who have already been fully vaccinated also will receive the $100 incentive payment.
    • VaxToWin: A partnership between the Maryland Lottery and the Maryland Health Department to provide $2 million in prize money for Marylanders who get vaccinated.
  • Michigan “MI Vacc to Normal“
    • Once the state documents that 70 percent of the eligible population received at least one dose, its orders on masks and limitations for public and private gatherings would be dropped.
  • Minnesota “Your Shot to Summer”
    • Minnesotans who get vaccinated between Memorial Day weekend through of June 30th will be eligible to choose a reward from nine different options. The incentives are state park passes, fishing licenses, and tickets to fairs and amusement parks. There is also the possibility to receive a $25 Visa card.
  • New Jersey
    • Shot and a Beer: In partnership with the Brewer’s Guild of New Jersey, the Governor’s Office and the Department of Health have launched the “Shot and a Beer” program to encourage eligible New Jerseyans ages 21 and over to get vaccinated. Any New Jerseyan who gets their first vaccine dose in the month of May and takes their vaccination card to a participating brewery as proof of vaccination will receive a free beer, courtesy of the participating brewery. This program will end May 31.
    • Vax and Visit: Beginning May 27th through July 4th, New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection will offer a State Parks Vax Pass – allowing free access to State parks, including Island Beach State Park – good through December 31st, 2021.
  • New York
    • Governor Andrew Cuomo began a promotion that would provide free tickets to Mets games from May 24 through June 17 and to Yankee games from May 7 through June 6 for newly vaccinated people, along with another promotion that gave residents free weekly subway passes.
    • Vaccination program that will provide free NYS Lottery scratch-off tickets to individuals 18 and over with a grand prize of $5 million.
    • Every person who receives the COVID-19 vaccine, either a first dose or single dose of Johnson & Johnson, anywhere in New York State this week is eligible to receive a free two-day pass to any state park.
  • Ohio
    • Ohioans aged 18 and older will be entered into “Ohio Vax-a-Million,” a weekly drawing with a prize of up to $1 million. A total of five weekly drawings for each prize will take place, with the first winners being announced May 26. Winners must have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine by the date of their respective drawing.
    • Ohioans 17 and under who are eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccination will be entered into a drawing for a full, four-year scholarship to any of Ohio’s state colleges and universities, including full tuition, room and board, and books. A total of five weekly drawings for a full, four-year scholarship will take place, with the first winner being announced May 26.
    • During a May 17 press conference, Ohio Health Director Stephanie McCloud said that the state has already seen a 6 percent increase in vaccination rates among people between the ages of 30 and 74.
  • Oregon
    • Oregonians 18 and older will have the chance to win $1 million or one of 36 $10,000 prizes–with one winner in each county in Oregon. Oregonians age 12 to 17 will have a chance to win one of five $100,000 Oregon College Savings Plan scholarships. All Oregonians who have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine by the draw date will be entered to win.
  • West Virginia
    • West Virginia is offering $100 savings bond or $100 gift card to anyone between the ages of 16 to 35 who receives, or has already received, a COVID-19 vaccine. Money for this incentive will come from federal CARES Act funding.
      • Starting June 20th, West Virginia residents who have received at least one COVID-19 vaccine will be eligible to enter to in a lottery-style drawing. The first round of prizes to be given away include:
      • (2) Full four-year scholarships to any West Virginia institution for kids ages 12 to 25-years-old
      • (2) Brand-new, custom-outfitted trucks
      • (25) Weekend getaways” to West Virginia State Parks
      • (5) Lifetime hunting and fishing licenses
      • (5) Custom hunting rifles
      • (5) Custom hunting shotguns
      • $1 million

Business incentives: (Source: