More than 2 million Marylanders will now be eligible to win cash prizes in a new lottery drawing that rewards people who have received all of their shots.
Governor Larry Hogan announced Tuesday the launch of the “VaxCash 2.0” program, which will offer large payouts to Maryland residents.
Beginning February 15, the Maryland Lottery will randomly select and award one enhanced Maryland resident each week for 12 consecutive weeks.
The first drawing next Tuesday will begin with an initial drawing of $500,000. Winners in weeks two through 11 will receive $50,000. The winner of the week 12 grand prize will receive $1 million.
To qualify, you must:
Be a resident of Maryland
Being over 18 years
Get the main dose of the COVID vaccine and the booster shot in Maryland
Get a booster shot by Monday, February 14
Hogan said the lottery was created to encourage all Marylanders to get their booster shots, much like the initial system launched last Memorial Day to encourage getting vaccinated.
“The biggest thing about the omicron surge is how critically important it is to get a booster shot,” Hogan said.
Governor Hogan said the state of Maryland has administered 2.1 million booster shots. However, the governor noted that while booster rates among seniors exceed 70%, that rate drops to around 50% for all adults 18 and older.
Hogan also provided a positive update on the state’s COVID metrics. The state’s positivity rate, which peaked in January at more than 30%, dipped back down to 5.81%, a decrease of 80%. Hogan said that number is the fifth-lowest in the U.S. Hospitalizations are also down 67% from a January peak of 3,500 people (now about 1,100). Lastly, Hogan said Maryland has the lowest case rate in the country.