New 'Vax & Scratch' Program Providing NY Lottery Tickets for Prizes Up To $5 Million

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Governor Andrew M. Cuomo has announced a new vaccination program that will provide free NYS lottery scratch-off tickets to individuals 18 and over with a grand prize of $5 million. The program will initially include 10 vaccination sites in the New York City, Long Island, Mid-Hudson, Central New York, Finger Lakes, Mohawk Valley and Western New York regions. The sites will be open from Monday, May 24 to Friday, May 28. All sites will be open from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. The program will not impact education funding.
"We know that vaccinations are the vital piece of the puzzle we need to crush COVID once and for all," Governor Cuomo said. "We're doing everything we can to make getting a vaccine as quick and easy as possible, but as vaccination rates slow across the state, we're going to have to get creative to put even more shots in arms. This new pilot program will offer a greater incentive for New Yorkers to get vaccinated by offering a free scratch-off ticket for a chance to win up to $5 million. The more New Yorkers we can get vaccinated, the better our situation and the faster we can return to a new normal, so I encourage everyone who hasn't been vaccinated yet to go to your nearest site and get the shot."
The ticket, which is sold by retailers across the state for $20, will be provided free to individuals 18+ who take their first dose or the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine at one of the sites. The sites are open to both walk-ins and appointments.
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The new pilot program adds to New York State's ongoing efforts to make the COVID-19 vaccine more accessible. On May 17, Governor Cuomo announced three new pop-up vaccination sites in collaboration with the MTA, expanding the successful program that was launched on May 12 to bring the COVID-19 vaccine to MTA station stops in the New York City, Long Island and Mid-Hudson regions.
On April 27, Governor Cuomo announced that beginning April 29, all state mass vaccination sites are open for walk-in appointments, a continuation of efforts to make it easier for New Yorkers to get vaccinated. Additionally, all vaccine providers are encouraged to allow walk-in appointments and eliminate other barriers for vaccinations for eligible New Yorkers.
The COVID-19 Vaccine Tracker Dashboard is available to update New Yorkers on the distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine. The New York State Department of Health requires vaccinating facilities to report all COVID-19 vaccine administration data within 24 hours; the vaccine administration data on the dashboard is updated daily to reflect the most up-to-date metrics in the state's vaccination effort.
New Yorkers who suspect fraud in the vaccine distribution process can now call 833-VAX-SCAM (833-829-7226) toll-free or email the state Department of Health at Hotline staff will route complaints to the appropriate investigative agencies to ensure New Yorkers are not being taken advantage of as the State works to vaccinate the entire eligible population.