Getting a Covid vaccine in Oregon could make you a millionaire

Sam Bereny, an EMT with Metro West Ambulance, holds a second dose of the Moderna vaccine at a drive-thru COVID-19 vaccination clinic at Centennial Park in Woodburn, Ore. on Thursday, April 1, 2021. (Amanda Loman/Salem Reporter)

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown is hoping a million dollar reward will help boost the state’s lagging Covid vaccination rates.

Brown on Friday announced the “Take Your Shot Oregon” campaign, a lottery drawing on June 28 for Oregonians who have received at least one dose of Covid vaccine. One winner will receive a $1 million cash prize, and each of Oregon’s counties will have a $10,000 winner.

“I’m encouraging every eligible Oregonian, to take your shot. Go get vaccinated. It can save your life. And just maybe make you a millionaire,” Brown said during a press call Friday.

The money will come from Oregon’s federal coronavirus relief payments.

Winners will be selected by the Oregon Lottery using a state database of all Oregonians who have received a vaccine. To protect patient privacy, the lottery will receive only an identification number for each vaccinated Oregonian and use those numbers to conduct the drawing, Brown’s office said. The Oregon Health Authority, which maintains the state vaccine database, will then use those numbers to identify and notify the winners.

Oregonians can decline the prize money, Brown said. More information about the lottery is here.

Teens won’t be eligible for cash prizes, but vaccinated Oregonians age 12 to 17 could win one of five $100,000 college scholarships in the form of an Oregon College Savings Plan account. That money can be used for educational expenses, including community college and trade school.

Brown said the incentive was designed to encourage Oregonians who are on the fence about vaccination or haven’t yet made time to get a shot.

She reiterated her goal of getting 70% of Oregonians 16 and older to get a first dose of the vaccine.

That threshold would trigger Brown lifting nearly all Covid restrictions in Oregon, including capacity restrictions for businesses and events. Currently, 62.9% of eligible Oregonians have had a first shot according to Oregon Health Authority.

“We have an opportunity to beat California with fully reopening the economy,” Brown said.

-Rachel Alexander