SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California selected another 15 people on Friday to win $50,000 each just for getting the coronavirus vaccine amid hopes from state officials that the chance of winning big money will convince skeptics to get inoculated ahead of the state’s broad reopening next week.
The lottery-style drawing selected winners from the nearly 22 million Californians who have received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine. State officials identified the winners by what county they lived in, with plans to contact them in the coming days.
Fifteen other people won the prize last week. But state officials could not reach two of them. The two were replaced by alternate winners in Sacramento and Monterey counties, Gov. Gavin Newsom said.
In addition to the $50,000 prizes, the state has pledged to give $50 gift cards to 2 million people who get vaccinated.
But the big prize will be handed out on Tuesday, when Newsom will oversee a drawing where 10 people will win $1.5 million each. Newsom has said that on that same day he will lift the state’s stay-at-home order and end most restrictions on businesses — including allowing fully vaccinated people to stop wearing masks under most circumstances.
One of last week’s $50,000 winners was 17-year-old Nancy Gutierrez, who is about to finish her junior year of high school in the San Diego area. Newsom indicated the money would go into a savings account because Gutierrez is under 18.
“My only advice: Don’t spend all that money. Invest it in your future and in your mind,” Newsom told her during a news conference in Vista, California, that was streamed on the governor’s social media channels.
Gutierrez appeared with Newsom at the news conference, smiling while holding a microphone and answering questions from the governor as he acted like a game-show host for the second week in a row. Gutierrez said she and her family initially did not believe the news that she had won and encouraged everyone to get vaccinated.
“I think most of us want life to go like back to normal and getting the vaccine would definitely help that,” she said.
Newsom said California has administered nearly 40 million doses of the coronavirus vaccine and that 70% of the state’s adult residents have received at least one dose.
Newsom said it would be “challenging” to for the state to achieve a rate of 75% to 80% of California residents vaccinated with one dose, but that he believes the prize money has been an effective incentive.
Newsom said the state administered 1.43 million does over the past week, an increase from the fewer than 1 million doses that were given out the week before.
“Just a handful of states can lay claim to seeing week over week increases in vaccination doses being administered,” he said. “We’re here to celebrate that.”
Associated Press writer Elliot Spagat contributed from Vista, California.
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7 Sports Betting Stocks That Will Shine Beyond March Madness
One of the many consequences of the novel coronavirus was the shutdown of live sports. For sports-minded individuals, one of the events that were missed the most was the NCAA Basketball Tournament affectionately known as March Madness.
But in addition to missing the entertainment that sports provide, cities and states realized, if they didn’t already, that sports are an economic necessity.
Live sports may also be a key to their post-pandemic future. But this goes beyond hotels and restaurants.
Sports betting has become big business. Currently, 25 states and the District of Columbia have legalized sports betting either by statute or by ballot initiative. That list is likely to grow. Many states face budget deficits and want to legalize sports betting for the revenue that it could receive.
And this is about more than allowing gamblers to place bets via a sportsbook in a casino. The real driver for this is mobile sports betting. According to the American Gaming Association, over 47 million people are expected to place bets during the NCAA basketball tournament, with approximately one-third of those bets (17.8 million) being placed online.
To help you take advantage of this still-emerging trend, we’ve put together this special presentation. Here we’ll highlight seven sports betting stocks that should generate significant revenue during March Madness and beyond.
View the “7 Sports Betting Stocks That Will Shine Beyond March Madness”.