Illinois planning to offer a lottery for vaccinated residents

Illinois will soon join a coalition of states operating lotteries for residents who have received COVID-19 vaccine shots, Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced Tuesday.

The news comes amid concerns about decreasing vaccination rates.

"The General Assembly has paved the way for Illinois to join a bipartisan coalition of states utilizing a vaccine lottery to encourage more residents to get vaccinated against COVID-19," Pritzker said at a briefing at the state Capitol. "It's the best thing we can do to protect ourselves and our loved ones."

More information will be released soon on the lottery, he added.

In Ohio, for example, the state operates a Vax-a-Million lottery system that began in late May with five drawings running through June 21, offering $1 million prizes. To be eligible, participants must be Ohio residents, ages 18 and older, and have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.

Another lottery for children ages 12 to 17 who have received one shot offers full scholarships to any Ohio state colleges and universities, according to

After the lottery was announced, Ohio vaccination rates jumped, NPR reported.

It's the latest in a series of promotions and giveaways by the public and private sectors as incentives for those who are hesitant or skeptical about COVID-19 vaccines.

Also Tuesday, Cook County Health announced it would give away tickets to Six Flags Great America in Gurnee on Wednesday, as well as June 9 and June 16, both Wednesdays.

The giveaway will continue as long as supplies last, and tickets are open to everyone ages 12 and older getting a shot.

Appointments can be made at or by calling (833) 308-1988. and walk-ins also will be accepted.

EXPLAINER: How Ohio's Vax-a-Million lottery will work

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Gov. J.B. Pritzker, shown at the Illinois Capitol, announced Tuesday the state will develop a lottery to encourage people to get COVID-19 vaccinations. Associated Press
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