After the second Maryland COVID vaccine lottery drawing Wednesday, a Baltimore resident is slated to walk away with a $40,000 cash prize.
Tuesday, a Baltimore County resident was selected as the first winner by a random number generator operated by the Maryland Lottery. The $2 million promotion is a partnership with the state’s Department of Health to incentivize coronavirus vaccinations.
Neither winner has been identified.
In both cases, the health department, which assigns random numbers to every eligible person, is going through the process of the getting authorization from the winners to accept their prizes and to see if they consent to their information being released to the lottery, said Carole Bober Gentry, spokeswoman for the Maryland Lottery.
“It depends if they reach them right away, if they don’t,” Gentry said, acknowledging the process could drag on.
Even then, the lottery rules say, winners can remain anonymous if they wish. In that case, the lottery will publish the hometown of a winner who lived in a town with 60,000 or more people or the home county of a person who lives in a less populous place.
There will be 38 more daily drawings worth $40,000 leading up to a Fourth of July jackpot worth $400,000.
On the first day, the winner had roughly a one in 100,000 chance of winning. By day 40, each participant should have an approximately 2.5 in 10 million chance, though that depends on the vaccination rate.
As of Wednesday morning, Maryland said it almost 3.4 million residents had received at least one dose. The lottery pool is surely smaller, considering that figure includes people under 18 who got vaccinated and Maryland residents who got vaccinated at a federal entity or outside the state, neither of whom are eligible to participate, according to the lottery.
The state reported an average of 41,336 immunizations daily over the last week, though only a share of those are first doses of Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna’s vaccines or a single-shot inoculation made by Johnson & Johnson. A person needs only have one shot to be entered into the pool and their random number is not entered twice if they got both doses, the rules say.