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Will lottery-style cash prizes offered by Governor Newsom motivate Californians to receive Covid-19 shot?

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Lottery style cash prizes for recipients of the Covid-19 vaccine are already happening in Ohio.

Other states, including California, have announced similar programs. 

"So I think it's a definitely a good incentive and a way to properly spend the state's money," said vaccine recipient Tyler Evoniuk. 

Governor Newsom announced the plan Thursday after the federal government authorized states to offer lotteries and cash incentives.  

California's prizes will include ten people each winning $1.5 million and $50 thousand cash prizes given to 30 people. 

"They got to find out why people don't want to take the shot," said Palm Springs Psychologist Dr. Adam Cash, owner of Specialized Psychology Solutions. 

Cash, who has received the Covid-19 shot, tells us he doubts the incentives will motivate those who don't want the vaccine to get it.

He says the chance to win money won't address concerns some people have with the vaccine's safety.

"With over justification and cognitive dissonance you might actually draw people away from getting the shot because they feel like they have to be bribed to do it,' said Cash. 

Desert visitor Renee Dama says no amount of money will change her decision not to take the shot. 

"Right now I don't feel safe putting it in my body," said Dama. 

In Ohio, at least 2.7 million people feel otherwise. 

That's how many vaccine recipients were eligible to receive this week's $1 million dollar cash prize awarded by the state.

The Governor there says prizes have increased the vaccination rate by 45 percent.

Governor Newsom hopes the cash incentives will help the state reach his goal of having more than 70 percent of adults vaccinated by June 15th.

"If people want to get the shot they can get the shot. I don't understand what giving money is going to do about it," said Koby Dama. 

Andy Slavitt, the White House Senior Advisor for the National Covid-19 Response, says cash prizes offered by states "appear to be working" based on data collected by the government.

California / Coronavirus / Coronavirus: Questions Answered / Health / Local News / News Headlines / Top Stories
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Tom Tucker

Tom Tucker is a veteran broadcast journalist with nearly 20 years of experience. Learn more about Tom here.


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