Vaccinated against COVID? Check if you've won in lottery

$250,000 awarded weekly, $1 million drawing July 17

NEWPORT - People who have been vaccinated against COVID-19 are being entered in a state lottery for cash prizes, including a $1 million drawing that will be held July 17. Other prizes will also be awarded. It's all part of the effort to get more people vaccinated in the state and vaccinated people don't have to do anything to enter.

According to information on the state's lottery website (www.walottery.com/vaccination) people who have received at least one dose of any of the three COVID-19 vaccines are automatically entered. People must be a resident of Washington and provide proof of residency to claim the prize.

The "presumptive" winners will be contacted and will have to claim the prize within 72-hours. The drawings take place every Tuesday in June and people will be contacted the next day. The drawing for the big jackpot of $1 million is July 13.

In addition to the $250,000 being given away each Tuesday, there will be merchandise prizes, like Xboxes and tickets to sporting events, for anyone 18 and older who is vaccinated.

People 12-17 can win a prize of Guaranteed Education Tuition (GET) units. There will be drawings for minors on June 15 and June 22. There will be 15 prizes drawn each off those days. Each prize is valued at $12,200.

Other lottery drawing days are June 8, 15, 22, 29 and July 13.

Winners will be contacted by phone, or the information listed in the state’s immunization records system. If a winner misses the call, the official will leave a voicemail identifying themselves and include a detailed message on what day and time the winner must call back, except for the GET winners. The federal taxes on these awards will be paid by the state. Otherwise, winners will be responsible for all taxes.

The lottery doesn't take any responsibility for errors or omissions. Incarcerated people are not eligible, nor are out of state residents.

Also, according to the lottery website, "Some vaccine providers, such as the Veteran’s Administration, the Department of Defense, and providers administering vaccinations outside of Washington, do not enter records into the Washington State Immunization Information System. The state of Washington, Washington’s Lottery, the Department of Health, and vaccine providers are not responsible for errors or omissions related to any person’s vaccination record."

The goal of the lottery is to get more people vaccinated. About 56% of people statewide are fully vaccinated and another 8% have started vaccinations.

Gov. Inslee's goal is to get to 70% vaccinated. If that rate is reached, the state may reopen faster than the June 30 date currently set. About 36% have not been vaccinated.

In Pend Oreille County, fewer people have been fully vaccinated, only 30%, with another 4% beginning vaccinations, leaving 66% without vaccinations.

The death rate from COVID-19 has climbed to nine in Pend Oreille County, with 24 active cases in the last 14 days, according to figures from Northeast Tri County Health District. There is one person hospitalized with COVID-19 at Newport hospital, according to hospital spokesperson Jenny Smith. While she didn't give an age for the person hospitalized, she said in general younger people are getting sick enough to require hospitalization.