The state of Maryland will offer a grand total of $2 million in lottery money to Marylanders who get vaccinated for COVID-19, Gov. Larry Hogan said Thursday.
“Today we are announcing an exciting partnership between the Maryland Lottery and the Maryland Department of Health to provide $2 million in prize money for Marylanders who get vaccinated,” Hogan said at a news conference that was held on the front lawn of Government House in Annapolis.
Hogan added: “Beginning next Tuesday, May 25, the Maryland Lottery will randomly select and award a $40,000 prize each and every day to a vaccinated Marylander. We will continue to do this every day for 40 straight days through July 3.”
To encourage vaccinations Comptroller Peter Franchot told MarylandReporter.com on Monday that he favors small tax breaks for Marylanders who get vaccinated against COVID-19. Hogan has not proposed any tax incentives as of yet and Franchot has not detailed how the tax incentive proposal would be set up for business or individuals.
Under Hogan’s plan, 40 lottery drawings will take place over 40 days, and that on July 4 a final drawing will be held in which a $400,000 prize will be awarded. “It’s a total of $2 million in prize money for vaccinated Marylanders,” the governor explained.
All Maryland residents ages 18 and older are eligible to win and that enrollment will be automatic upon vaccination. Hogan said that Marylanders who have already been vaccinated will also be enrolled and are eligible to win. Hogan said winners will be notified by the Department of Health.
He said funding for the effort is being provided by the Maryland Lottery’s marketing fund.
Maryland is not the only state providing this incentive. Ohio also is included among the other states that are offering lottery prizes to those who get vaccinated.
To date more than 67% of Marylanders have received at least one dose of the vaccine and that he expects the state to surpass the 70% marker by Memorial Day.
Hogan urged Marylanders who have not yet been vaccinated to do so as soon as possible.
“The only way to protect yourself against COVID-19 is to get vaccinated right away. So those of you who are still on the fence or who just haven’t gotten your shot yet there is no better time than now. And there should be no more excuses. So go out and vaccinated to protect yourself, your family, and your friends and your fellow Marylanders.”
There are 457,084 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Maryland as of Thursday morning, according to the Department of Health, and 8,768 people in Maryland have died from the virus. The state’s positivity rate is at 2.06%, which is the lowest level on record since the beginning of the pandemic. Maryland has conducted nearly 10.2 million COVID-19 tests.
Maryland’s health care providers have administered more than 5.7 million doses of the coronavirus vaccine. That includes 3,066,993 (50.73%) first doses and 2,454,258 (40.595%) second doses. Nearly 2.7 million people in Maryland are fully vaccinated, which is about 45% of the state’s total population.
This article originally appeared on MarylandReporter.com on Thursday, May 20, 2021.