Gov. Holcomb Says Indiana Won’t Join In On Vaccine Lottery Trend

Posted on June 7, 2021

Indiana won’t be joining the list of states with a vaccine lottery.

Most of the Hoosier State’s neighbors have some sort of system in place to incentivize people to get vaccines.

Ohio and Kentucky already have lotteries underway, and Illinois is considering a similar move.

Indiana, on the other hand, isn’t following in the footsteps of its neighbors.

No vaccine lottery in Indiana

Ohio’s Vax-a-Million system is handing out $1 million every week.

Ohioans 18 and older who have already received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine are eligible to enter Vax-a-Million drawings. Each of the five drawings offers up $1 million in prizes.

The state is also incentivizing residents aged 12-17 to get the vaccine with scholarships.

Those with at least one dose of the vaccine can enter to win one of five full-ride scholarships to any Ohio university.

Kentucky’s system is basically identical to Ohio’s.

Even Illinois might be adding a vaccine lottery in the near future.

This type of move hasn’t been limited to the Midwest, either. Other states like California and Maryland have their own versions of a COVID shot lottery.

Despite other states moving to add similar lottery systems, Gov. Holcomb doesn’t see that in Indiana’s future.

“I’ve taken a different approach to entice people by making it very convenient to have easy access to the vaccine and appeal to our better senses. I’m just uncomfortable with monetary incentive. I want to make it as a state easy and obviously free to get vaccinated so we can all get through this as fast as possible.”

Michigan is the other nearby state that’s going without a lottery incentive.

According to Gov. Whitmer, Michigan law prevents this type of monetary reward.

With so many states hopping on this new trend, it begs the question…are the vaccine lotteries working?

Are vaccine lotteries working?

Indiana gamblers love the Hoosier Lottery.

The state’s lottery system is expecting record revenues this year.

It just goes to show that people love a chance to win big money, even if that chance is a small one.

That same logic seems to be holding true when it comes to vaccine lotteries.

People are snagging up shots rather than scratch-offs, but at least in Ohio, the program seems to be working.

Ohio put its vaccine lottery into place after its vaccination numbers started to flatline.

The result? A 55% increase in vaccinations in a single week.

The system is moving the needle, which is a good sign for other states adding their own lotteries.

Gov. Holcomb might not be comfortable with a monetary reward, but his current plan has left Indiana behind many other states when it comes to vaccine numbers.

Only 36% of Hoosiers are fully vaccinated right now, which puts Indiana in 38th place as far as state rankings go.

Kroger and CVS vaccine lotteries

There might not be a state-run vaccine lottery in Indiana, but Hoosiers still have a few options when it comes to winning vaccine prizes.

For example, Kroger is running its own lottery system throughout the country.

The grocery chain is giving away $1 million to five different shoppers, as well as a year’s worth of free groceries to 50 different individuals who get their shots at a Kroger location.

To qualify for deal, just schedule your vaccine at a Kroger location and fill out the company’s form.

CVS is running its own lottery that will be giving out more than 1,000 different prizes.

Super Bowl tickets, a seven-day cruise, and $5,000 are just a few of the prizes that are available.

Companies like these are providing some extra vaccine incentives while Gov. Holcomb tries to work out his own system for Indiana.

Hoosiers might not have quite as many options as residents of other states, but there are still ways to make your vaccine experience a little more fun.

Photo by Associated Press
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Jake Garza

Jake Garza is a sports writer based in Indianapolis, IN. He's an Indiana University graduate who's spent time as a sports reporter covering teams at the prep, collegiate and professional levels.

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