State to Award $1.5M Prizes In 'Vax for the Win' Vaccine Incentive Program


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LOS ANGELES (CNS) - The state of California will randomly choose 10 vaccinated residents today to receive $1.5 million each as the top prizes in an incentive program urging people to get COVID-19 vaccines.

The giveaway comes on the heels of two previous drawings in which 30 people were chosen to receive $50,000 each.

To be eligible for the money in the $116.5 million “Vax for the Win'' incentive program, residents must have received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine -- but they must complete the two-dose regimen to actually receive the prize money.

During last Friday's drawing of 15 $50,000 winners, Gov. Gavin Newsom said there were nearly 22 million eligible residents. According to Newsom, as of Monday, 72% of state residents had received at least one dose of vaccine.

For those drawings, the pool was randomly narrowed to 200, then winnowed to 50. To pick the winners, 50 numbered balls were dropped into a spinning lottery-style cylinder, and 15 winners chosen.

The winners' names have generally been kept secret to ensure privacy, with only the winners' home county made public. One $50,000 winner, a teenage girl in San Diego County, appeared with Newsom at last Friday's drawing.

Tuesday's drawing, held on the day the state lifts the majority of its COVID-19 economic restrictions, will not end the vaccine-incentive program. On July 1, the state will hold another prize drawing, offering six California vacation packages.

The prizes include trips to Anaheim, Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco and Rancho Mirage for up to four people, with the various tours including dining at highly touted eateries, visits to theme parks or tickets to sporting events.

Newsom said the venues participating in the giveaway donated their services, while the state “is going to provide an additional $2,000 for travel, so your travel is covered.''

Up for grabs will be:

-- a trip to Anaheim, with two-night stays at three different resorts, two-day park-hopper tickets to the Disneyland Resort, dinner at the Anaheim White House and a $500 gift certificate to South Coast Plaza;

-- a stay at the JW Marriott Los Angeles L.A. Live, with two floor seats to a Lakers game, four tickets to Universal Studios Hollywood and visits to The Broad, the California Science Center and the Natural History Museum;

-- a two-night stay at the Ritz-Carlton Rancho Mirage, an 80-minute spa treatment for two and daily breakfast for two at State Fare Bar & Kitchen;

-- a San Diego Beach Dream Vacation, featuring a five-night stay at Catamaran Resort Hotel, surf lessons, a series of dining gift certificates and tickets to the Padres, San Diego Zoo, SeaWorld San Diego and Legoland;

-- a San Diego Downtown Dream Vacation, with a five-night stay at Marriott Marquis San Diego Marina, four tickets to the San Diego Symphony, dining certificates, passes to the U.S.S. Midway Museum, a harbor tour, Padres tickets and visits to the San Diego Zoo Safari Park and SeaWorld; and

-- a five-night stay at the Hotel Nikko San Francisco, four San Francisco City Passes providing tickets to various attractions, dining packages at four luxury eateries such as Jaranita and Wilder, and four tickets to a Giants baseball game.

Individual counties and cities have also been offering localized incentives of their own. And in conjunction with Tuesday's reopening of the economy, some other perks are on the table:

-- Taco Bell will provide one free beef Nacho Cheese Doritos Locos taco to vaccinated customers on Tuesday;

-- Chipotle will give vaccinated customers a free topping or side serving of Queso Blanco with the purchase of a full-priced entree item on Tuesday;

-- the Los Angeles Clippers will provide vaccinated customers a 15% discount on team merchandise in its online store from Tuesday through Sunday; and

-- the Staples Center Team LA Store will provide a 15% discount for vaccinated customers, also from Tuesday through Sunday.

Copyright 2021, City News Service, Inc.

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