August 04, 2021

Illinois announces $10 million in prizes for anyone who gets or has already received a COVID-19 vaccine shot

How to win $1 million for your COVID-19 shot

Gov. JB Pritzker announced a vaccine lottery Thursday with prizes totaling $10 million for anyone who already has received a COVID-19 vaccine, and to encourage those who haven’t been vaccinated to get a shot.

Vaccinated adults (18 and older) are automatically entered into a $7 million cash pool. Vaccinated youth (12-17 years old) are automatically entered into a $3 million scholarship pool.

“All In For The Win is yet another way we’re working to ensure every single resident is protected from COVID-19, and especially, this virus’ more dangerous variants,” Pritzker said. “Vaccines are incredibly effective and keep you protected – and they also make your community safer. Getting the shot is how we truly end this thing, so vax up, Illinois. If you do, you might even hit the jackpot.”

You do not need to do anything to register for the lottery. If you got vaccinated, you had to fill out a form, and you’re automatically in the system. The state lottery will be drawing from a statewide pool.

“You did your part already, and this is a way of saying ‘thank you,’ ” Pritzker said Thursday.

How it works:

You are eligible for the cash pool if:

• You’re an Illinois resident 18 or older and have received a COVID-19 vaccine in Illinois, other than a federal facility.

When are the drawings:

The first drawing is July 8, where a $1 million winner will be picked. You are automatically entered for the July 8 drawing if you get a vaccine by July 1.

Beginning July 12-Aug. 16, every Monday, three winners will be selected to win a $100,000 prize.

On Aug. 12, 22 winners from a regional drawing will be picked, two in each of the 11 Restore Illinois regions will be drawn for $100K cash prizes.

The grand finale is August 26, where two $1 million winners will be selected.

Youth scholarships for kids:

For the youth scholarships, winners will receive a $150,000 scholarship award.

This $150K prize is the equivalent of a full ride, including tuition and room and board, at any four-year public university in Illinois. The scholarship will be provided as a Bright Start 529 College Savings scholarship and may be used at any educational institution that participates in the US Department of Education’s Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) system, including: public and private 4-year and 2-year colleges, vocational and technical schools, schools in all states, and some schools abroad.

When are the drawings:

Three youth scholarships will be drawn on July 8.

A grand finale drawing will be held Aug. 26, where 11 scholarships of $150,000 each, one from each of the 11 Illinois health care regions region, and six additional $150K scholarships from a statewide pool, will be drawn.

If I win, will my name be made public?

All winners will be contacted by the Illinois Department of Public Health by phone or email. IDPH will not contact kids directly, they will contact the parent or guardian. The Illinois Lottery does not have access to your vaccine records.

The winners of this promotion can choose to remain anonymous. For winners from towns with populations of 20,000 or more, the location of the winners’ hometowns will be published. For winners from smaller towns, only the winners’ home counties will be published.

How is this being paid for?

The prize money will be paid from federal COVID-19 grants received by Illinois. The money has already been appropriated to the IDPH and the Illinois Lottery, per information provided from the governor’s office.

Information can be found at

John Sahly

John Sahly is the digital editor for the Shaw Media Local News Network. He has been with Shaw Media since 2008, previously serving as the Northwest Herald's digital editor, and the Daily Chronicle sports editor and sports reporter.