June Leffler Published

W.Va. Kids Can Win Up To $100,000 In Governor’s Latest Vaccine Lottery


Gov. Jim Justice announced another round of his vaccine lottery, aiming to bring about 140,000 newly eligible kids into the mix.

Last week, COVID-19 vaccines became available for 5 through 11-year-olds after clearance from federal health agencies.

Justice wanted to include those kids in a lottery incentive program like the ones rolled out this summer for adults and teens. The governor’s female English bulldog, Babydog, will again be the mascot.

Anyone 18 and younger who is vaccinated can register for the lottery online starting on Tuesday. The deadline to enter the first drawing is Nov. 14.

It wasn’t clear if participants would need to have one or both shots to qualify. The governor’s office said the complete rules will be finalized and posted online by the end of Monday.

“This is our campaign to try to do something to incentivize our youngest and the youngest, with parental approval and everything, to get vaccinated,” Justice said.

Cars and guns won’t be given out this time. Instead, prizes will be 100 educational savings accounts in the amount of $10,000. Two grand prize winners will receive $50,000 and $100,000. Their schools will also be awarded cash prizes of the same amount. Four hundred lifetime hunting and fishing licenses will also be doled out.

The lottery will span over four weeks, with weekly drawings, wrapping in December with grand prize giveaways.

“Maybe Santa and Babydog as a reindeer will come, and we’ll also give $100,000 to the school at that time,” Justice said, noting that the program will use about $2-3 million in federal COVID-19 relief funding.

So far, almost 60,000 West Virginians 17 and younger have received at least one dose, according to state data. The figure marks 22 percent of that age group.