Gov. Roy Cooper announced Thursday that North Carolinians 18 and over who received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine will be entered into four drawings for cash prizes, with $1 million going to one person per drawing.

Cooper also announced that youths ages 12-7 given at least one dose of the vaccine will be automatically entered into four drawings to win $125,000 apiece towards post-secondary education. The $125,000 can be used at any post-secondary institution and is awarded in the form of a NC 529 account.

The governor said those vaccinated on or after Thursday’s announcement will be entered twice for each drawing to increase the chances of winning for the newly vaccinated.

“A chance at a million dollars is pretty good motivation. But even if your name isn’t drawn, the worst you’ll do is get strong protection from a deadly virus,” said Cooper.

The drawings will be held every other week on Wednesdays, June 23 through Aug. 4. New entries will close at midnight on the Sunday prior to the Wednesday drawing. Winners will be verified and then announced.

The drawings are part of the state’s Bringing Summer Back get-out-the-vaccine campaign to increase awareness of the availability and safety of COVID-19 vaccines and encourage North Carolinians to get a COVID-19 vaccination as soon as they can.

With this initiative, North Carolina joins other states that announced million-dollar drawings to promote vaccinations.

Ohio, the first state to launch such a program, reported a 28% increase in vaccinations among those 16 and older in the first two weeks following the announcement.

A press release said that although all North Carolina residents 12 and older who have been vaccinated with at least one dose are eligible, some restrictions may apply. These are explained at SummerVaxCash.com.

The drawings are funded with federal Coronavirus Relief Funds, with support from the state lottery director. The scholarship funds will be managed by the State Education Assistance Authority.

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