The lottery-style drawing selected the winners from the nearly 22 million Californians who have received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine. State officials identified the winners by the county they lived in, with plans to contact them in the next few days.
Fifteen other people won the award last week. But state officials were unable to reach two of them. The two were replaced by alternate winners in Sacramento and Monterey counties, the governor said. Gavin Newsom said.
In addition to the $ 50,000 prizes, the state has pledged to deliver $ 50 gift cards to 2 million people who get vaccinated.
But the grand prize will be awarded on Tuesday, when Newsom will oversee a drawing in which 10 people will win $ 1.5 million each. Newsom has said that on the same day he will lift the state stay-at-home order and end most restrictions on businesses, including allowing fully vaccinated people to stop wearing masks in most circumstances.
One of the $ 50,000 winners last week was 17-year-old Nancy Gutierrez, who is about to finish her junior year of high school in the San Diego area. Newsom indicated that the money would go into a savings account because Gutiérrez is under 18 years of age.
“My only advice: don’t spend all that money. Invest in your future and your mind,” Newsom told him during a news conference in Vista, California, which was broadcast on the governor’s social media channels.
Gutierrez appeared with Newsom at the press conference, smiling while holding a microphone and answering questions from the governor while hosting a game show for the second week in a row. Gutiérrez said that 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 get back to normal and getting the vaccine would definitely help with that,” he 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” for the state to get a 75% to 80% rate of California residents vaccinated with one dose, but that he believes the award money has been an effective incentive.
Newsom said the state administered 1.43 million doses in the past week, up from less than 1 million doses in the previous week.
“Only a handful of states can boast of seeing weekly increases in the doses of vaccination that are administered,” he said. “We are here to celebrate that.”