Kentucky Lottery Gamifies State Vaccination Push With Shot at Winning $225,000

  • Residents getting first or second shots receive a coupon for a free Kentucky Cash Ball ticket
  • Gov. Beshear said it would be “great” to get 225,000 Kentuckians vaccinated in the coming weeks
  • The lottery promotion is part of a state drive to reach Beshear’s goal of 2.5 million vaccinations
  • Despite capacity curbs, a record US post-pandemic crowd attended the Kentucky Derby on May 1
male expressing happiness at winning lots of raining cash
The Kentucky Lottery has added a gaming element to the state shots push, offering those taking the needle a chance at winning a $225,000 grand prize. [Image:]

Shots drive in partnership with Kroger and Walmart

The Kentucky Lottery has gamified the state’s COVID-19 vaccination drive by announcing a collaborative promotion whereby residents taking the needle have a chance of winning $225,000.

The Kentucky Lottery took to Twitter to share the news of its Kroger and Walmart-partnered promotion, which launched on May 11:

Kentuckians aged 18 or over getting their first or second vaccination at participating Walmart or Kroger stores will get a coupon for a free Kentucky Cash Ball ticket. With 225,000 free tickets available through May 21 or until stocks run out, the $225,000 top prize will be drawn from the nightly Kentucky Cash Ball game. Participants have until June 1 to redeem their coupons at any Kentucky Lottery retail outlet.

According to the Associated Press, approximately 1.86 million Kentucky residents have received the COVID-19 vaccine to date.

“Get out there and get it”

Upon the announcement of the lottery initiative, Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear said: “It’d be great if we had 225,000 more Kentuckians vaccinated in the next couple of weeks.” Beshear added that if Kentuckians wanted to take advantage of the offer, they should “get out there and get it.”

organization hopes that “by injecting a little fun into the process”, more people will get the shots

Kentucky Lottery president and CEO Mary Harville expressed the organization’s hopes that “by injecting a little fun into the process”, more people will get the shots. Harville said the move was beneficial for the lottery, the state’s businesses, and college students.

According to its website, the Kentucky Lottery has contributed more than $3.8 billion to state education. Proceeds from the lottery fund college scholarships and grant programs across the Commonwealth, including the merit-based Kentucky Educational Excellence Scholarship.

Kroger Louisville Division president Ann Reed said via a news release on the Kentucky Lottery website that when Governor Beshear “reached out for support, Kroger was ready and willing to help.” Reed added that Kroger has inoculated more that 200,000 Kentuckians to date.

State vaccination goal of 2.5 million

The Kentucky Lottery promotional incentive is part of the state’s drive to reach Governor Beshear’s goal of 2.5 million vaccinations, which he announced on April 12. When Kentucky hits the target, Beshear said he will lift capacity restrictions – currently at 60% – on almost all events, businesses, and venues serving fewer than 1,000 customers.

Kentucky limits legal gambling to the state lottery and local racetracks. At the May 1 Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs, a headcount of 51,838 people made it the biggest crowd to attend a sporting event in the US since the outbreak of COVID-19. While betting handle numbers across the 14-race calendar event made a comeback to pre-pandemic levels, attendance was significantly down on the 2019 crowd of 150,720.

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