WATCH: Gov. Edwards offering chance at $1M grand prize for those vaccinated against COVID-19

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BATON ROUGE, La. (KLFY) — Louisiana residents who get vaccinated for COVID-19 will have a shot at $2.3 million in cash and scholarship prizes — including a $1 million grand prize — as part of a new lottery incentive introduced by Gov. John Bel Edwards.

Edwards said there will be 14 drawings between July 14 and August 4. Prizes will include:

  • One $1 million grand prize for an adult age 18 and up.
  • Four $100,000 cash prizes for adults 18 and up.
  • Nine $100,000 scholarships for students ages 12-17.

To participate, Edwards said Louisiana residents must be able to prove they have taken at least one COVID-19 vaccination dose and they must register at https://shotatamillion.com/. They may also register by phone at 1-877-356-1511. Registration opens Monday, June 21 at noon.

A person only needs to sign up once to be entered into all five weeks of drawings, which will be handled by the Louisiana Lottery Corporation and paid with federal coronavirus relief aid.

The schedule for drawings are as follows:

JULY 14

  • Prizes: One $100,000 cash prize and one $100,000 scholarship.
  • Deadline to enter: July 9 at 11:59 p.m.
  • Winner will be announced: July 16

JULY 21

  • Prizes: One $100,000 cash prize and one $100,000 scholarship.
  • Deadline to enter: July 16 at 11:59 p.m.
  • Winner will be announced: July 23

JULY 28

  • Prizes: One $100,000 cash prize and one $100,000 scholarship.
  • Deadline to enter: July 23 at 11:59 p.m.
  • Winner will be announced: July 30

AUGUST 4 (Two drawings)

  • DRAWING 1 Prizes: One $100,000 cash prize and one $100,000 scholarship.
  • DRAWING 1 Deadline to enter: July 30 at 11:59 p.m.
  • DRAWING 1 Winner will be announced: August 6
  • DRAWING 2 Prizes: $1 million grand prize and five $100,000 scholarships.
  • DRAWING 2 Deadline to enter: July 31 at 11:59 p.m.
  • DRAWING 2 Winner will be announced: August 6

If you would like further information regarding the COVID-19 vaccine initiative in Louisiana and vaccine availability, call the Vaccine Hotline at 1-855-453-0774.

Today’s announcement is the second round of vaccine incentives the governor has authorized. At the start of June, Edwards announced the state’s Shots for a Shot program, in which participating businesses provided a free alcoholic or non-alcoholic drink to people who could prove they’ve been fully vaccinated.

Edwards also offered free state parks admission to vaccinated Louisiana residents. Nationwide incentives are also listed at the nationwide Vaccines.gov website.

The Democratic governor hopes cash incentives — such as those offered in California, Colorado, Kentucky, Massachusetts and Ohio — will boost interest in the shots, since the public safety and health protection arguments have failed to sway significant numbers of Louisiana residents.

Louisiana lags nearly every other state in vaccine distribution, despite a widespread grassroots outreach effort that works to bring the shots directly to neighborhoods, churches and homes.

More than 1.7 million people, 37% of Louisiana’s total population, have received at least one dose of the vaccine, according to state health department data. More than 1.5 million people have been fully immunized, about 33% of the population.

Only Mississippi and Alabama have lower vaccination rates per capita among states, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Edwards is particularly hoping to drum up interest among younger people ahead of the fall start of the school year, since Louisiana has seen limited embrace of the vaccines from college-aged students and teenagers.

The Associated Press contributed to this post.

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