By Alex Pasquariello
The Colorado Comeback Cash vaccine drawing offers the best odds of winning of $1 million you may ever see.
Beginning Friday, Colorado will award $1 million each week to five residents ages 18 and older who have received at least one dose of any of the three authorized Covid-19 vaccines.
“Rather than gamble on getting Covid, let’s take a chance on winning $1 million,” Gov. Jared Polis said in a May 25 news conference announcing Colorado Comeback Cash.
Indeed, if protecting yourself and your fellow Coloradans from Covid-19 isn’t inspiration enough to get vaccinated, the chances of winning $1 million in this drawing might be. A vaccinated Coloradan is about 325 times more likely to win one of the five Colorado Comeback Cash drawings than they are to win the Powerball grand prize, according to calculations by Ben Dyhr, a Mathematics and Statistics professor at Metropolitan State University of Denver. A vaccinated Coloradan is also about 13 times more likely to win the vaccine lottery than they are to win the Powerball $1 million prize.
“I would say that a vaccine lottery ‘ticket’ is roughly 10 times more valuable than a lottery ticket,” he said.
And the chances of winning one of the five $1 million drawings might be better than Dyhr’s “conservative” calculations. Dyhr assumed that 75% of the state’s population – 4.5 million people – would be entered in the drawing. The latest available data from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment show that 3,022,501 people have received at least one dose of a Covid vaccine.
The prize money is being paid for with CARES Act dollars allocated for vaccination marketing and promotion. Based on the vaccination-rate increases driven by similar drawings conducted in Ohio, Polis said he thinks Colorado Comeback Cash is the best way to spend the federal funds.
“We feel it will have a bigger impact on driving vaccination than if we were running TV ads saying to get vaccinated,” he said at the news conference. “And best of all, the benefit goes to five lucky Coloradans who did the right thing and protected themselves.”
Colorado Comeback Cash is being run by the Colorado Lottery in conjunction with the CDPHE. Drawings will be conducted weekly on Fridays starting this week. Everyone 18 and older who has already been vaccinated, or gets vaccinated at least by the Tuesday before the drawing, will be automatically entered. For more information about the program, check out the Colorado Comeback Cash FAQ.
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