Gov. John Bel Edwards announces vaccine lottery with $1 million prize

By: - June 17, 2021 4:26 pm

Gov. John Bel Edwards announces a $1 million lottery as a vaccine incentive program in Louisiana. (JC Canicosa/Louisiana Illuminator)

Vaccinated Louisianians can win up to $1 million by registering for the “Shot at a Million” Program, the state’s latest vaccine incentive program, Gov. John Bel Edwards announced in a news conference Thursday.

Fourteen Louisiana residents who enter the vaccine lottery will win cash prizes — including four prizes of $100,000, nine prizes of $100,000 in scholarships and one prize of $1 million — totalling in $2.3 million in potential cash prizes. Starting Monday, Louisiana residents looking to enter the lottery can register at

Edwards said he decided to implement the lottery as a vaccine incentive program when he saw how successful other states were in using the lottery to get more people vaccinated. 

“In fact, media reports show that Ohio saw as much as a 49 percent increase in vaccinations among people 16 and older,” Edwards said. “I would love for Louisiana to see that kind of increase.”

“Shot at a Million” is the latest vaccine incentive program the governor’s implemented to try to get more residents vaccinated. Two weeks ago, Edwards announced “Shot for a Shot,” which allowed Louisiana residents to get a free drink at participating bars and restaurants. Vaccinated Louisiana residents are also allowed free admission in the 21 state parks through July 31.

Louisiana is averaging 45-65 COVID-19 deaths every week, State Health Officer Joe Kanter said. “When lives are on the line, you want to try everything. That’s the bottom line.”

About 1.7 million  Louisianians — or 37 percent of the state — have gotten at least one COVID-19 shot, and 1.5 million have completed their vaccine series.

Edwards said the money given away in the vaccine lottery comes from CARES Act money dedicated to vaccine outreach and education, and makes up a “very small amount of the funding that has been made available.”

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JC Canicosa
JC Canicosa

JC Canicosa is a former Louisiana Illuminator reporter. Prior to working with the Illuminator, Canicosa worked for Investigate-TV and The Loyola Maroon. Canicosa earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Loyola University New Orleans. At Loyola, he was the senior staff writer at The Maroon and the president of the school's chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. Off the clock, Canicosa enjoys playing basketball, watching movies and dabbling in comedy writing.