Another 30 residents will be selected to win a $50,000 cash prize - with 15 residents chosen on Friday, June 4, and another 15 winners will win on Friday, June 11.
The state estimates about 12 million Californians 12 and older have not been vaccinated. The remaining $16.5 million is up for grabs to all Californians who have received at least one dose, with 10 winners receiving $1.5 million each.
If the individual selected is under the age of 18, the money will be deposited into a savings account in their name that will be locked up until they turn 18. In addition to the cash prize, 50 dollar gift cards are also being given to the first two million Californians who complete their COVID-19 vaccination.
California launched a $116.5 million lottery on Thursday to incentivize state residents to get vaccinated against COVID-19. "But we aren't stopping there, we're doing everything it takes to get Californians vaccinated as we approach June 15 to help us fully reopen safely", Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) said Thursday.More news: New Zealand extends pause on travel bubble with Australia's Victoria state_china
"Some Californians weren't ready to get their Covid-19 vaccine on day one, and that's OK", said Dr Tomas Aragon, director of the California Department of Public Health. "What about everybody else that did the right thing?" he said Thursday. Almost half of people in the least advantaged neighborhoods still haven't been vaccinated, according to the state.
"We've got to get those first-dose numbers up", Newsom said at a press conference in Los Angeles.
Still an estimated 12 million Californians who are eligible still haven't received a single shot.
Newsom said he hopes to get over 70% of adults vaccinated by June 15, and "significantly increase" the number of younger residents.More news: Biden orders intelligence agencies to investigate origins of Covid-19
"This is 100 million more reasons that Gavin Newsom must be recalled", he said, referencing the amount the state will give out in gift cards.
California will offer $116.5 million USA in cash and gift cards to residents who get COVID-19 vaccinations before June 15, the latest - and most lucrative - incentive by U.S. states desperate to persuade laggards and vaccine skeptics to get the injection.
"These types of strategies don't work in sometimes our lower-income, minority populations where we intend them to work if we don't at the same time lower those barriers - whether it's digital or transportation or language", Bibbins-Domingo said.
On Wednesday, Ohio, which popularized the idea, announced the first victor of its much-anticipated "Vaxx-a-Million" sweepstakes, which ultimately will award $1 million each to five residents who have received at least one COVID-19 vaccine shot. "We've got to finish the job". The state is home to almost 40 million people.More news: Australia's Victoria state reports four COVID-19 cases, source unknown