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NY: Get vaccinated for a shot at $5 million


New York state is dealing with a severe decline in COVID-19 vaccination rates by offering free lottery tickets to those who agree to get a shot, starting Monday.

The top prize is $5 million.

While over half of New Yorkers are now fully vaccinated, the rest of the population seems far more reluctant to get their shots. Gov. Andrew Cuomo said beginning next week, all state vaccination sites will give away lottery tickets, worth $20, to anyone who agrees to get a dose.

Aside from the top prize, Cuomo said there are smaller prizes as well, with a 1-in-9 chance of winning.

And, he said, you also get protection from a deadly disease.

“Everybody wins,” Cuomo said.

He also said vaccinated New Yorkers have better access to sporting events and theaters, and can take off their masks in most situations.

The lottery giveaway will run through May 29. The governor said if it’s successful, the program will be extended into June.

Cuomo said the state also plans to set up vaccination sites at major airports for New Yorkers flying to countries that require the vaccine for entry.

Karen DeWitt covers Albany for WXXI News, a media partner of CITY.