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Cities, states, businesses offer big vaccine incentives

Updated: May. 28, 2021 at 12:31 PM CDT
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(CNN) – In some places, getting vaccinated could make you a millionaire.

Officials are trying all sorts of ways to encourage more people to get their COVID-19 shots, including lotteries with big bucks.

“I still can’t believe it. It was a crazy night,” said Abbigail Bugenske, who was Ohio’s first $1 million vaccine lottery winner. “I was screaming enough that my parents thought I was crying and that something was wrong.”

The state’s Vax-a-Million lottery has boosted vaccination rates across Ohio, and other states are taking notice.

“When other governors saw that this was working, you know, they reached out to us for information,” said Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom has announced $50 gift cards with every shot and $1.5 million lottery jackpots for 10 winners.

“We’re making available the largest prizes of any state in America,” Newsom said.

Next week, CVS launches a sweepstake for those getting a shot. The prizes include cash, Super Bowl tickets, a European or Caribbean cruise or a long weekend in Bermuda.

New York City will send vaccine buses to the beach this holiday weekend.

“Go, get vaccinated, hit the beach. Real simple,” said New York Mayor Bill de Blasio.

Walmart is planning vaccination sites inside schools.

Nearly 40% of all Americans are now fully vaccinated, but that means 60% are not.

Still, states are reopening.

New Jersey lifted most of its mask mandates this week, just in time for the start of summer.

“We’ve always targeted Memorial Day as when we hoped we’d be able to take our strongest steps on the path back to a fully open New Jersey,” Gov. Phil Murphy said.

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