By Jacqueline Quynh

DENVER (CBS4)– Colorado is giving away $5 million dollars in an incentive campaign to encourage more Coloradans to get the COVID-19 vaccine. The state announced the incentive program on Tuesday.

(credit: CBS)

“I wasn’t expecting it I’ve heard other states doing it, but I wasn’t expecting Colorado to do it,” Steph Penrod said.

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Gov. Jared Polis announced Tuesday there will be five drawings, the first one being held June 4. Anyone who is vaccinated before that date, is automatically entered.

“These are very good odds. These are better odds than winning a $1 million than any other type of contests that I’ve ever seen,” Polis relayed.

The odds are potentially better than Powerball. Polis estimates the chances of hitting the jackpot are 1 in 500,000.

(credit: CBS)

“Wow, I probably would give some to my family, my kids could use a little help,” Bev Wasserman said.

Wasserman happens to be a nurse in Denver. She thinks the drawing could certainly help convince some people still sitting on the fence about the vaccine. Though she knows, changing minds some minds will remain a struggle.

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“Certain populations of people, but people with money,” Wasserman said.

Polis explained the money would otherwise be used for marketing or advertising, but thought the lottery was the best way to motivate people to get vaccinated.

“The fact that we have to incentivize people to do something that is common sense is crazy to me,” John Anderson said.

However, if this incentive help more people get vaccinated, then it’s a win for everybody.

Polis also stressed health records were not compromised in this contest, a series of numbers was generated for each entry and personal info remains confidential.

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A total of 44% of all Coloradans are fully vaccinated. That’s more than 2-and-a-half million people with nearly three million people having at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. A total of 53% have at least one dose so far.

Jacqueline Quynh