With enough luck, your COVID-19 vaccination could be about to pay off in a way you might not have expected.
The first winners will be chosen Tuesday in the state’s lottery for residents who have rolled up their sleeves for a COVID-19 vaccine, whether one dose of Moderna, Pfizer or Johnson & Johnson.
The top prize this week is $250,000, with a winner notified Wednesday.
The program was announced by Gov. Jay Inslee last week. It is intended to entice people who have yet to be vaccinated to do so and push the state to its goal of having at least 70% of residents 16 and older vaccinated. Reaching that mark could trigger a statewide reopening before the official reopening date of June 30.
Here is what you need to know about the vaccine lottery, including who is eligible, the prizes and how winners are picked.
Who is eligible?
Anyone who has been vaccinated, and whose vaccine provider has entered the recipient’s information into the Washington Immunization Information System by 11:59 p.m. the Sunday before the Tuesday drawings, is eligible.
The state lottery and the state Department of Health say they aren’t responsible for any errors or omissions when it comes to vaccine records, which is an issue that arose late last week.
Complaints surfaced on social media on Friday of sessions timing out, missing records and sluggishness on wa.myir.net and MyIRmobile.com, the two sites on which the public can access vaccination records.
The vendor-run MyIR websites are separate from the state’s WA IIS database; the vendor sites import vaccination information from the state. State officials said lottery winners will be chosen from the state’s database.
The state says proof of current Washington residency is required to claim a prize, including a valid Washington driver’s license, identification card or another form of government-issued identification. Incarcerated people are ineligible, the state says, meaning “a person committed to total confinement in any state, federal, city, or county correctional institution or facility on the date the person is initially contacted.”
When are the drawings and what are the prizes?
The drawings take place every Tuesday in June. The drawing for the big jackpot of $1 million is July 13.
In addition to the $250,000 being given away each Tuesday, there will be merchandise prizes, like Xboxes and tickets to sporting events, for anyone 18 and older who is vaccinated.
On June 15 and June 22, vaccinated Washingtonians age 12 to 17 can win Guaranteed Education Tuition credits for college.
The vaccinated can also win:
- 2 free Alaska Airlines tickets
- 4 tickets to a Seattle Mariners game and one full suite prize
- 4 tickets to a Seattle Sounders game in August, plus two autographed jerseys
- 10 tickets to a Seattle Storm game
- 4 club-level seats at a Seattle Seahawks game, plus parking passes
- 4 OL Reign 2021 season tickets, plus a team-signed jersey
- Nintendo Switches, 100 Echo Dots and 25 Google Nests
The state is also giving $1 million to Washington’s four-year universities and two-year community and technical colleges to run their own drawings for assistance with tuition and books.
How are winners picked?
Those eligible will be assigned a number by DOH. Lottery officials will draw numbers using the agency’s random number-generating system.
Each number will be shared with the health department to be matched with the name of the individual, who will then be contacted by Washington’s Lottery on how to collect the prize. Cash prize winners will be contacted the day after the drawing.
Winners will be asked if they want their names and where they live made public, as the state’s lottery does with all of its games. At the minimum, winners’ first names and first initial of their last names will be on the lottery’s website.
Full names of winners, who will need to respond in 72 hours, will only be shared with the lottery.
If a winner doesn’t respond in time, the prize goes to an alternate winner. No one may win more than one cash prize, but could be eligible for a noncash prize.
Washington’s Lottery spokesperson Dan Miller told The Seattle Times last week that winners will be contacted by phone, or the information listed in the state’s immunization records system. If a winner misses the call, the official will leave a voicemail identifying themselves and include a detailed message on what day and time the winner must call back.
Concerns about the call or email? Call the lottery at 360-810-2888.
Can’t find your records using the MyIR sites? Call the provider who administered your vaccine or 833-829-4357, the state’s COVID-19 assistance number.