New Mexico offers $5 million prize to vaccinated residents

National and World News

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico is the latest U.S. state to offer cash prizes in a bid to increase vaccination rates.

Vaccinated residents who register on the state’s new “Vax 2 the Max” portal can win from a $10 million prize pool including a $5 million grand prize, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham announced Tuesday.

“Getting vaccinated is the right thing to do — for yourself, for your family and for your state,” Lujan Grisham said. “I’m excited to add a little fun to our nation-leading vaccination push.”

At least 55% of eligible residents are fully vaccinated, but the Department of Health wants to reach 70%, closer to possible herd immunity.

The lottery idea follows in the footsteps of states like Ohio and California, where some success has been seen in increasing vaccination rates.

Starting next week, New Mexico officials will four draw prizes of $250,000 from different regions of the state, as well as smaller prizes ranging from lottery “scratcher” tickets to in-state vacation packages and museum tickets.

The $5 million prize drawing will be held in August.

To be registered for the drawings, residents must sign up online at vax2themaxnm.org, which is separate from the state’s vaccine scheduling site. Winners will have to produce their vaccination cards.

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