OLYMPIA, Wash. - The Washington State Lottery's Shot of a Lifetime vaccine incentive program starts Tuesday with the first lottery drawing.
Anyone who is over 18 years old, a Washington resident and has received at least one COVID vaccine shot locally is eligible for hundreds of prizes, including a quarter of a million dollars.
Tuesday morning, 249 winners will be selected. There is the top prize of $250,000 and 248 additional prizes.
"Everything from travel, entertainment, to sports tickets, to discover passes for Washington State parks," says Director of Washington’s Lottery, Marcus Glasper.
The lotto is funded by federal COVID relief fund dollars. The process of selecting winners begins with Department of Health officials.
"They will assign a random number to each person in the immunization information who has had at least one dose of a vaccine, and they will provide the range of those numbers to us," says Glasper.
Lottery officials then draw 249 winners from the range of numbers provided to them by health officials.
"After we do that, there’s a matching process. Those numbers go back to the Department of Health where the numbers we pulled are then matched to a recipient in the database."
Glasper says after the winners are selected, they’ll be contacted by an official authorized lottery employee via the contact info they provided when getting their vaccine.
Glasper says most likely winners won’t be notified until Wednesday morning. And then there’s this important detail: Glasper says people need to pay attention to their calls and emails.
"You have 72 hours in which to respond to our initial contact with them, so that’s going to be key, otherwise they forfeit any of the prizes."
Lottery officials are used to scammers. To avoid any fraud, they say you can go through a verification process with the person who contacts you, to ensure they really are an official employee with the lottery. If you win, a lottery official will make a brief introduction of where they are calling from. They will verify that you are a resident of WA state, your email, address and phone number. They will not ask personal questions beyond that. They will then give you instruction on how to specifically claim your prize.
Q13 News spoke with Washington residents on Tuesday who were excited. The odds to win are steep but lottery officials say the chances of winning the vaccine lottery is way better than for example the powerball.
The names would be picked from a pool of around 3.9 million vaccinated people according to WA State Lottery.
Every Tuesday for the next four weeks there will be drawings for a cash prize of $250,000. On Tuesday, July 13th, there will be the final drawing for the grand prize of $1 million dollars.
Department of Health officials say if you’ve been vaccinated in Washington your info will be in their system, and you’ll be eligible for the lotto. You can check if you’re in the state database by signing up for MyIRmobile.com.
However, lottery officials say they’ve heard there’s been some issues with the website due to the massive volume of people on it. If you’ve been vaccinated but your information does not show up, officials say call 1-833-VAX-HELP.
Lottery officials say people who got vaccinated at a Washington VA or Department of Defense facility are not eligible for tomorrow’s drawing, because the Department of Health doesn’t have access to their vaccination information. However, they say they’re working on fixing this before the second lotto drawing next week.
If you haven’t gotten vaccinated yet, officials say there’s still time to be eligible for the next four drawings, including the drawing of $1 million dollars.
Stay connected with Q13 News on all platforms: