Cuomo: NY offers $5M lottery scratchoff tickets for those getting vaccinated

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New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo offered a new incentive to get vaccinated Thursday, telling New Yorkers they can get a free lottery ticket once they get the shot in their arm.

“If you were undecided about getting a vaccine or dubious about getting a vaccine, now you have an added bonus. Don’t miss this chance,” Cuomo said during a press conference.

The program dubbed “Vax and Scratch” means that anyone who gets the coronavirus vaccine from one of the 10 state-run sites from May 24 to May 28 enters into the chance of winning $5 million.

There are 13 different levels of winnings, ranging from $20 to $50,000 for the second prize.

“The chances of winning something are one in nine,” Cuomo said. “It’s a situation where everyone wins.”

Vaccinations in New York have slowed down, with the state reporting an average of 123,806 daily shots over the last two weeks – a roughly 40 percent drop from the daily average in mid-April, reported a local news outlet.

New York has reported that nearly 63 percent of its population has received at least the first dose of the vaccine, with 43 percent having completed both rounds of shots. Both figures have surpassed the national average, which is at 38 percent of Americans fully vaccinated, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Though Cuomo’s press conference was jovial, the New York Democrat has been embroiled with scandal over coronavirus nursing home policies and multiple allegations of sexual assault.

The state’s digital Excelsior Pass – an app touted by Cuomo to help New Yorkers prove they’ve received the vaccine – has also run into some controversy. 

A series of glitches have prevented some from inputting their proof of inoculation to verify with state records that they are clear for certain activities, like attending sporting activities. 

The Cuomo administration has maintained the “overwhelming majority of users have a seamless experience.”

New York has seen a drastic drop in cases over the last month with just 1,583 new cases reported Thursday and 18 deaths. 

Peter Aitken contributed to this report. 

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