Kentucky Lottery Offers Free Shot at $225K in Exchange for Getting a COVID Vaccine

By | May 12, 2021

The Kentucky Lottery wants to give people who get a COVID-19 vaccine a chance to win up to $225,000.

Kentucky Lottery COVID
Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear speaks at a press conference in Frankfort last month. On Monday, he announced the Kentucky Lottery was giving away free $1 plays for its Cash Ball 225 draw game for people that get a COVID vaccine at a participating Kroger or Walmart. (Image: Gov. Andy Beshear/Twitter)

Through May 21, or while supplies last, the lottery is teaming up with participating Walmart and Kroger locations to give adults a coupon for a free $1 play for an upcoming Cash Ball 225 drawing.

People getting either their first or second dose can claim a free play.

Cash Ball 225 is a daily game by the Kentucky Lottery that’s played similar to PowerBall or Mega Millions. However, players only have to pick four numbers between 1 and 35 and a “Cash Ball” in a separate pool of numbers between 1 and 25.

The winning numbers can be worth up to $225,000.

Not only will this encourage Kentuckians to get the life-saving COVID-19 vaccines, it gives them a chance,” Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear said Monday. “You get your shot of hope and then a shot at winning $225,000.”

A random-number generator selects the winning numbers daily around 11 pm ET.

Kentucky Sets Goal of 2.5 Million Shots

The Kentucky Lottery promotion is just one of the ways the state is trying to meet a vaccination goal Beshear set last month that he said would allow him to eliminate most COVID-19 restrictions.

Those restrictions, including capacity and social distancing restrictions for many indoor settings, will end, the governor said, once Kentucky has 2.5 million residents who have received at least one dose of a vaccine.

Nearly 1.9 million Kentuckians so far have gotten one shot. The Lottery, Beshear said, is offering up to 225,000 free plays.

Gaming Venues Stepping Up to Fight COVID

While numerous gaming sites, including casinos and race tracks, have been locations for temporary vaccination clinics, the Kentucky Lottery campaign appears to be the first that actually ties gaming to getting a shot.

Last month, Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races in West Virginia announced it was expanding its vaccine clinic to people living outside the Mountain State. The casino and track in far eastern West Virginia attracts patrons from Virginia, Maryland, and Washington, DC.

In New York, Aqueduct Racetrack in Queens became a vaccination site in January. So, too, as did Belmont Park, another NYRA track, back in January. According to the New York Department of Health, Aqueduct’s state-operated clinic remains open and is now taking walk-ins.

Across the country, Golden Gate Fields has served as a vaccination site for Alameda County in California. That site temporarily closed for a few hours back in March when animal rights protestors waged a sit-in on the dirt track of The Stronach Group venue.

And before it hosted the Kentucky Derby, Churchill Downs partnered with a local healthcare operator to host a three-day pop-up clinic at the Louisville track.

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