ANNAPOLIS, Md. — A big payday could be on the way for Maryland residents that received a COVID-19 vaccine. The Maryland Department of Health has partnered with Maryland Lottery to give away $40,000 per day starting May 25. There will also be a prize of $400,000 for the one lucky winner selected on July 4.
With the contest about to begin, the Verify team is tackling some of the biggest questions about this promotion.
- The office of Gov. Larry Hogan, (R-MD)
- Maryland Lottery and Gaming, "$2 Million VaxCash Promotion"
Who is eligible for this promotion?
According to the Maryland Lottery, this promotion is available to all Maryland residents who used their Maryland mailing address when they registered for their vaccination. They must be at least 18 years old.
A person is not eligible if they received their vaccine at a federally operated site, because "the federal government will not provide the Maryland Department of Health with a list of Marylanders who were vaccinated at federal facilities."
If a Maryland resident received their vaccine at a CVS or a Walgreens, they will be entered in the drawings.
How will the drawing be conducted? How will privacy be protected?
According to the Maryland Lottery, The Department of Health will report to Maryland Lottery how many adults are vaccinated in the state of Maryland. Using those parameters, Maryland Lottery will then select a number using a random number generator.
The number will then be reported to the Department of Health in Maryland, who will use the randomly selected number to choose the daily winner.
The winner's information will only be shared with Maryland Lottery if they sign the "$2 Million VaxCash Promotion Authorization Form." As with the traditional lottery, winners will have the option to remain anonymous.
"For winners from larger towns with populations of 60,000 or more, the location of the winners' hometowns will be published," wrote Maryland Lottery. "For winners from smaller towns, only the winners' home counties will be published."
How does the state know which people have been vaccinated?
According to Maryland Lottery, this information is tracked by the Maryland Department of Health. This agency tracks the records and personal data for those who "have had COVID-19 vaccinations administered at non-federal facilities in Maryland within a secure computer system."
The information is collected in what's called the "Immunization Information System," otherwise referred to as "ImmuNet."
This information is not shared with Maryland Lottery, unless the winner gives permission to do so.
If I had multiple COVID-19 shots, do I have multiple chances to win?
No. Don't worry, Johnson and Johnson recipients, whether you received a one-dose vaccine or a two-dose vaccine, you are eligible. If you have only received the first dose of a two-dose vaccine, you are still eligible for this promotion.
What If I received my shot in another state?
If you live in Maryland but received the vaccine in another region, such as D.C. or Virginia, you are not eligible for the lottery. The state does not have access to the vaccination records from other jurisdictions.
What if I'm a resident of another jurisdiction, but I got my vaccine in Maryland?
If you are a resident of jurisdiction, such as DC or Virginia, you are not eligible for this promotion, even if you received your vaccine in Maryland.
"To be eligible for the drawings, individuals must have a Maryland address," a spokesperson for Maryland Lottery says. "Out-of-state residents who were vaccinated in Maryland are not eligible."
Where is the money for this promotion coming from?
According to Maryland lottery, the money for this promotion comes from the Maryland Lottery's Marketing Fund. This is used "for advertising and promotions."
"The money has already been allocated to the Maryland Lottery for that purpose," the Maryland Lottery wrote. "And the VaxCash Promotion will not reduce the amount of the Maryland Lottery's contributions to public schools and other state programs."