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West Virginia’s COVID-19 vaccine incentive lottery to includes guns, trucks, cash prizes

(CHARLESTON, W. Va) — West Virginia Governor Jim Justice offered details on Tuesday of his state’s COVID-19 vaccine incentive lottery, which will run throughout the summer.

At his press conference, Gov. Justice said that the giveaway will include a top prize of $1.588 million, and a $588,000 second prize. Other incentives West Virginia will give out include full scholarships to any instituation of higher learning within the state, custom-outfitted trucks, weekend vacations at state parks, lifetime licenses for hunting and fishing, and custom hunting rifles and hunting shotguns.

“The fast we get people across the finish line, the more lives we save,” Justice said Tuesday. “That’s all there is to it.”

“If the tab just keeps running, the cost is enormous. The hospitalizations are enormous. We have to get all of our folks across the finish line.”

West Virginians who have been fully vaccinated will have to register in order to win the prizes. A website for registration is expected to be made available soon.

According to the state’s data, more than 730,000 residents over the age of 12 (41.2 percent) are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 as of Tuesday morning. An additional 176,563 have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.

Gov. Justice recently modified his state’s masking requirement, making it so that anyone who is fully vaccinated can participate in indoor and outdoor activities without a mask or social distancing, regardless of crowd size. That decision followed matching guidance from the CDC.

The statewide indoor face covering requirement, though, remains in effect for anyone who is not fully vaccinated through at least June 20.

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