$4M in cash, $500K in scholarships to be awarded in NC vaccine lottery, docs show

North Carolina news

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Gov. Roy Cooper is expected to announce a cash drawing for people who are vaccinated against COVID-19 in North Carolina – and documents obtained by CBS 17 show that more than $4.5 million in prizes will be awarded.

According to the documents, the state is planning on randomly drawing four $1 million winners over the course of eight weeks (one drawing every two weeks). On the same dates as the cash drawings, four more random drawings will take place, each one for a scholarship worth $125,000.

The scholarship prize will be awarded in the form of a 529 tax-advantaged scholarship account in North Carolina’s National College Savings Plan, also known as the NC 529 Plan, according to the documents.

The money can only be used for “expenses related to post-secondary education
that are permitted under” the NC 529 Plan.

The documents obtained by CBS 17 show that depending on when a resident gets their first and second vaccine – or when they get the Johnson & Johnson shot – they could be entered into the prize drawings two times.

According to the rules, those who are vaccinated on June 10 and after will be entered into the drawings twice. Anyone vaccinated before will only have one entry.

Those who have already received a vaccine will automatically be entered to win unless they’re part of an excluded group, such as Gov. Cooper and his immediate family and NCDHHS Sec. Dr. Many Cohen and her immediate family.

CBS 17 is working to confirm the rest of those who may not be eligible for the prizes.

The lottery would follow what states like California, Ohio, and New Mexico are doing.

Vaccinated residents who register on New Mexico’s “Vax 2 the Max” portal can win prizes from a pool totaling $10 million that includes a $5 million grand prize, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham announced.

Ohio and California are also offering lotteries that have shown some success in boosting vaccination rates. California previously offered the largest single prize of $ 1.5 million from a total lottery pool of $116 million.

Cooper is expected to make the announcement this afternoon. You can watch Cooper’s comments on CBS 17 or cbs17.com at 3 p.m.

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