As countries around the world are scrambling to increase their vaccination rates, an apartment unit worth 1.5 billion won is being offered as incentive. More countries and organizations are offering to pay huge sums of cash through lot drawings like a lottery.
According to the South China Morning Post on Saturday, major real estate companies in Hong Kong including Sino Group and Chinese Estates Holdings are jointly offering giveaways to encourage ordinary people to take the jab. The first prize is a new 42 sq.-meter apartment unit, which is worth about 10.8 million Hong Kong dollars (1.39 million U.S. dollars). The winner will be selected by drawing a lot among the applicants who apply through September 1. Those eligible are Hong Kong citizens aged 18 and older who completed the two-dose regimen. The companies will also pay 100,000 Hong Kong dollars to 20 people by drawing lots.
In the U.S. where vaccine supply is sufficient but the pace of vaccination has slowed, more states are giving prize money just like lottery. According to the Los Angeles Times and other media outlets, the State of California plans to draw lots on June 15 to pick 10 people who will receive 1.5 million U.S. dollars each, and additional 30 people who will get 50,000 dollars each among those who have taken at least one dose. The prize money comes from the state’s tax revenue.
In Ohio, Abbey Bugenske (22) became the winner of a the state's highly anticipated Vax-a-Million lottery on Wednesday and will receive 1 million dollars. The state will select a winner per week over the next four weeks. The states of New York and Maryland are also offering to pay up to 5 million dollars and 4 million dollars, respectively. New York City has offered to pay the tuition for four-year public college plus living expenses.
These “vaccine lotteries” are actually generating impact. In Ohio, the number of vaccines jumped 33 percent from 90,000 to 120,000 from May 13 to May 19 after the prize was informed to the public.
In Thailand where Covid-19 cases have been soaring in recent weeks, a calf has been put up for grabs. The Mae Chaem district in Chiang Mai in northern Thailand is offering to gift a calf through a lot drawing among people who will be vaccinated for 24 weeks from the first week of June, Reuters reported. A calf costs about 300 dollars in the region. There was vaccine hesitancy in the district with a total of population of 43,000, but after the district announced the giveaway, more than 4,000 residents among the priority group have made reservation for vaccination, according to a local govern official.
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