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What you need to know about NC’s vaccine lottery

Updated: Jun. 11, 2021 at 8:54 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - WBTV is answering your questions about the vaccine lottery in North Carolina.

On Thursday, Governor Roy Cooper announced North Carolina would have four Summer Cash Drawings to encourage more North Carolinians to get the COVID-19 vaccine. To be entered, you must have at least one dose of the vaccine.

One North Carolinian will win $1,000,000 in each of the four drawings. The drawings will occur on June 23, July 7, July 21, and August 4.

North Carolinians who are already vaccinated will have their name entered into the drawing once. Anyone who got their first dose of the vaccine on or after June 10 will have their name entered twice. According to the official rules, you must have gotten at least one dose of the vaccine by 11:59:59 on the Sunday before each drawing to be entered.

Only North Carolina residents are eligible for the million-dollar drawing. So, if you live out of state, but work in state, you will not be eligible. Or if you got your vaccine in North Carolina but live outside of North Carolina, you will not be eligible.

If the vaccine lottery drawing were held today, your chances at winning would be one or two out of 4.6 million. But since state vaccination numbers include people who were vaccinated in North Carolina but live out of state, the chances of winning are even better than they appear.

For comparison, the chances of winning the Powerball are 1 in 292,201,338. The chances of winning the Mega Millions are 1 in 302,575,350.

According to the official rules, the state does not have access to federally operated vaccination sites, such as the VA or Indian Health Services. So, if you got your vaccine at either of those locations, your name might not be entered. The official rules say the state is working to gain access to the vaccination data by the time of the drawing. Those federally run vaccination sites that may not be eligible do not include federal vaccination programs at pharmacies. According to the rules, the state has access to vaccination data from pharmacies participating in the federal vaccination program.

If you win, the rules say you do not have the right to remain anonymous. The state may use your name, image, and likeness for publicity purposes. However, you may choose not to accept the prize money. A spokesperson for the state told WBTV that all vaccination data and personal information is kept in a secure, HIPPA compliant system maintained by NCDHHS. The state says that information is only used to award the prize money.

The vaccine lottery is taxable. According to the IRS, lottery winnings are taxed at 24 percent. In North Carolina, lottery winnings are taxed at 5.25 percent, according to the North Carolina Department of Revenue. So, if you win the $1 million vaccine lottery, you will take home roughly $707,500.

For more information click here.

The official rules of the Summer Cash Program can be found here.

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