Taking inspiration from Ohio's Vax-a-Million program, which is in the process of awarding five $1 million prizes to vaccinated Ohio residents, Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced a similar vaccination lottery program that will reward vaccinated Illinois residents with cash prizes and scholarships. The All In For The Win program will award $10 million in prizes, including three $1 million jackpots, forty $100,000 prizes and twenty $150,000 scholarships. And there's no need to enter—if you've received at least one dose of a vaccine by July 1, you'll be automatically entered in all of the drawings.
The prizes are split into two categories, based on the age of the vaccinated entrant. Illinois residents age 18 and older will be eligible to win the three $1 million and forty $100,000 cash prizes, while Illinois residents ages 12 to 17 will be eligible to win one of twenty $150,000 scholarships. The first drawing for a $1 million prize will take place on July 8, followed by a series of drawings for $100,000 prizes throughout July and August. On August 26, the final two $1 million winners will be revealed. Scholarships will be awarded on July 8 and August 26—you can find a more detailed schedule here.
Everyone who received at least one dose of a vaccine in Illinois will be entered in this drawing, with the exception of folks who received their vaccine at Federal facilities like the U.S. Bureau of Prisons and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. If you received your vaccine at the Federal Emergency Management Agency-operated mass vaccination sites like the United Center, you are eligible (no need to worry). You also don't need to be a U.S. citizen to win—according to a release, "Eligibility does not depend on immigration status."
To keep personal information and vaccination status confidential, the Illinois Department of Public Health will assign a number to each eligible person for each drawing and will report the total number of eligible Illinoisans to the Illinois Lottery. The Illinois Lottery will use a random number generator to select winners and report the numbers back to IDPH to match with an individual winner. IDPH will reach out to cash prize winners by phone and email. The parents or guardians of scholarship winners will be contacted in lieu of the winning minor.
Winners of any vaccination lottery prize may choose to remain anonymous, though the county or home town of each winner will be published. Taxes will automatically be deducted from all winnings, which will presumably be delivered in a lump sum. The prize money comes from federal grants that Illinois received to combat COVID-19 and will not come out of funds that the Illinois Lottery contributes to the Common School Fund or other state programs.
"You did your part already, and this is a way of saying 'thank you,'" Gov. Pritzker said during a press conference announcing the vaccine lottery. "It's also our way of saying to those who haven't yet been vaccinated: please, join us."