SACRAMENTO, California. (AP) – California selected 15 people on Friday to win $ 50,000 each, simply to receive the coronavirus vaccine, amid hopes by government officials that the chance to win big money would persuade skeptics ahead of the state’s reopening. Saturday:
The lottery-style lottery selected the winners from nearly 22 million Californians who received at least one dose of coronavirus vaccine. Government officials have identified the winners in the county in which they live and intend to contact them in the coming days.
Last week 15 people won the award. But government officials could not reach two of them. The two were replaced by successive winners in the states of Sacramento, Monterey, said Governor G. Newsom.
In addition to the $ 50,000 prize, the state has committed to give $ 50 gift cards to 2 million vaccinated people.
But the grand prize will be awarded on Tuesday, when Newsom will control the lottery, where 10 people will win $ 1.5 million each. Newsom said that on the same day, it would lift the state’s stay-at-home procedure, removing maximum restrictions on business, including allowing fully vaccinated people to discontinue masks in many cases.
One of the winners of last week’s $ 50,000 was 17-year-old Nancy Gutierrez, who is about to graduate from her junior high school in San Diego. Newsom noted that the money will be saved in a savings account, as Gutierrez is not 18 years old.
“My only advice. Do not spend all that money. “Put it in your future, in your mind,” Newsom told a news conference in Vista, California, which was broadcast on the governor’s social media channels.
At the press conference, Gutierrez appeared with Newsom, smiling at the microphone in his hand, answering the governor’s questions, as he was playing as the host of the show for the second week in a row. Gutierrez said he and his family did not believe the rumors at first, and encouraged everyone to get vaccinated.
“I think many of us want life to be back to normal, the vaccine will definitely help,” he said.
Newsom reports that California has administered nearly 40 million doses of the coronavirus vaccine, and 70% of the state’s adults have received at least one dose.
Newsom said the “challenge” would be for the state to reach a 75% -80% interest rate on vaccinated California residents, but said the prize money was an effective incentive.
Newsom noted that the state administered 1.43 million actions last week, which is less than the 1 million doses given last week.
“Just a few states can claim to see an increase in vaccine doses every week,” he said. “We are here to celebrate.”
Associated Press writer Eliot Spagat contributed from Vista, California.