AUGUSTA, Maine — ENTER SWEEPSTAKES HERE
Vaccinated Mainers have a chance at a big payday.
Last week, Gov. Janet Mills announced the “Don’t Miss Your Shot: Vaccinationland Sweepstakes,” a statewide program to encourage Maine people to get vaccinated against COVID-19. One vaccinated Mainer will win $1 for every person vaccinated in Maine by the Fourth of July.
Maine residents age 12 and older who have received at least one dose of a Moderna or Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine or the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine in Maine since December 15, 2020, may enter for a chance to win the prize, Mills said. Registration is required and the deadline to get vaccinated and submit an entry is 11:59 p.m. on June 30, 2021. Entries are now being accepted online or by calling the Community Vaccination Line at 888-445-4111. Mills said she will announce the winner and the prize amount on the afternoon of the Fourth of July.
The cash winnings increase by $1 for every Maine resident who receives at least one dose, as reported on the U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention vaccination tracker, according to Mills. The more people vaccinated, the higher the prize.
The final prize amount will be determined by the number of Maine residents who have gotten a vaccine as of 6 a.m. EST on July 4, 2021. The prize amount totals $891,207 as of July 1.
"The more Maine people vaccinated, even with one shot, the bigger the prize," Mills said.
As of 8 a.m. on Tuesday, June 29, the Maine CDC said 300,052 Mainers had registered for the sweepstakes.
Mills said the winner will be randomly selected from among all eligible entries, using a process that mirrors that used by the Maine State Lottery. Potential winners are subject to verification of eligibility and agreement to comply with the official rules, according to Mills.
Wednesday's announcement represents another push by Mills' administration to vaccinate as many Maine people as possible ahead of President Joe Biden’s July 4 goal of delivering at least one shot to 70 percent of Americans age 18 and older. Maine ranks third among U.S. states for the percent of eligible residents who are fully vaccinated, according to data from the U.S. CDC.
"In typical Maine fashion, we met President Biden's goal 53 days ahead of time," Mills said. "And then we beat it."
According to data from the U.S. CDC, 75% of Mainers age 12 and older have received at least one dose of the vaccine.
“Maine is a national leader in COVID-19 vaccination thanks to the more than 876,000 people who have already rolled up their sleeves,” Mills said. “Our goal with the Don’t Miss Your Shot: Vaccinationland Sweepstakes is to encourage even more people to get the vaccine and declare their independence from COVID-19 as we approach the Fourth of July.”
Mills said she and her administration have been discussing for weeks additional incentives to get people vaccinated.
Maine CDC Director Dr. Nirav Shah said there's been a reduction in vaccine demand across the state, particularly in counties with fewer young people, which is one reason behind the new program.
"Incentives like this may be the thing that helps turn that around," Shah said.
"We're not constrained by the supply of vaccine any longer, so there's vaccine out there. If this is what it takes to get folks, to nudge them to come in, then all the better," Shah said.
Unlike some other states offering cash prizes, Mills said they decided to pin the number on the number of people actually getting vaccinated—an approach she thinks is unique.
"So it's a double incentive," she said. "Go get vaccinated with at least one shot ... [by the end of the day on June 30] and pump up the numbers so whoever wins that pot, wins that money, will win a bigger amount."
She said one of the issues raised with the "Your Shot to Get Outdoors" incentive program was that those who were already vaccinated weren't eligible, but the new program makes anyone who has received a shot since December 15 eligible.
Entry into the sweepstakes requires providing your name, date of birth, email address, phone number, home address, and the name and location of the place that provided your COVID-19 vaccine. Entry for children between the ages of 12 and 17 also requires a parent or guardian’s name, email address, and phone number.
Maine residents who received their first dose of Pfizer or Moderna vaccine in another state, but received their second dose in Maine by June 30, 2021, are eligible, Mills said. However, Maine residents who received both doses or the single-dose Johnson and Johnson vaccine in another state are not eligible, according to Mills.