Vaccine lottery promotional (Washington State Governor’s Office)

Vaccine lottery promotional (Washington State Governor’s Office)

Vaccine lottery’s first $250,000 winner to be picked Tuesday

And marijuana retailers can now offer a free joint to customers who get shots at on-site clinics.

EDMONDS — The first drawing in Washington’s vaccine lottery is set for Tuesday afternoon.

One winner will snag $250,000 in cash, while others will receive prizes including Xbox consoles, Alaska Airlines flights and sports tickets. Tuesday’s drawing is the first of four chances at a quarter of a million dollars. The last cash prize will be for $1 million.

“We think saving your life is a pretty good incentive for getting a vaccine, but $1 million doesn’t hurt,” Gov. Jay Inslee said Monday during a tour of a vaccine clinic at the Edmonds campus of Community Health Centers of Snohomish County.

To select winners, Washington’s Lottery officials will randomly pull numbers linked to Washingtonians in the state Department of Health’s vaccine database. Lottery staff will then reach out to the chosen participants, who will have 72 hours to accept their prize.

Anyone who received at least one shot in the state and can provide proof of residence is automatically entered to win.

Last week, when Inslee announced the lottery, some ran into trouble trying to confirm their immunization records through www.MyIR.net or MyIRmobile.com. On Monday, the main MyIR website was unresponsive. The mobile web address seemed to work, but the registration process was buggy and, in the case of one vaccinated person, there was no record found.

But if you received your shots in the state, you’re in the database, Inslee said. In some instances, a middle initial or phone number may be incorrect, but that will be worked out if you’re selected as a lottery winner, he said.

“There really is no reason to worry about this,” Inslee said.

If you’re unsure about your immunization records, call the state’s hotline at 833-829-4357.

However, anyone vaccinated through a Department of Defense or Veterans Affairs clinic likely is not yet included in the state’s vaccination reward lottery.

The state is trying to get those records from the federal government, or find a way for people to opt into the database, Inslee said, but there’s no timeline for when that could happen.

The lottery is one piece of the state’s push to convince people to get vaccinated.

On Monday, the state Liquor and Cannabis Board launched another initiative to get vaccination rates higher.

Under new guidance, marijuana retailers can now offer a free pre-roll joint to customers 21 and older who get a shot at an on-site vaccine clinic.

Another incentive is the prospect of fully reopening the state economy early if enough Washingtonians get at least one shot.

Inslee is set to drop the state’s COVID-19 restrictions on businesses and social activity on June 30. But if 70% of state residents 16 and older get a vaccine shot prior to that date, he’ll reopen the state earlier.

So far, more than 63% of Washingtonians 16 and older have received at least one dose.

“The numbers tell the tale,” Inslee said. “I am hopeful in the relatively near future that we will reach that 70% level.”

Adding vaccinations by the Department of Defense and Veterans Affairs, which aren’t in the state’s database, would bring Washington much closer, Inslee said.

Without the federal numbers, it’s still possible the state could hit 70% ahead of schedule, but it’s not probable, he said.

Meanwhile, COVID-19 cases, locally and statewide, continue to drop as more people get vaccinated.

In Snohomish County, the latest two-week case rate showed 103 new infections per 100,000 residents — the lowest it’s been since March.

“The people who have a target on their backs today for the COVID virus are the people who have not been vaccinated,” Inslee said. “It’s free to save your life. There’s no reason to risk your life right now.”

To find a vaccine location near you, text your ZIP code to 438829. For nearby locations in Spanish, text your ZIP code to 822862.

Joey Thompson: 425-339-3449; jthompson@heraldnet.com. Twitter: @byjoeythompson.

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