A LUCKY New Yorker could win themselves a massive $5million – but they have to get a Covid shot first.
Governor Andrew Cuomo, 63, has announced the “Vax & Scratch” pilot program in a bid to get more people vaccinated against the coronavirus.
Anyone who gets vaccinated with receive a $20 lottery ticket for the $5m Mega Multiplier Lottery.
Along with the sizeable top prize there are also a number of prizes that go down to $20.
"The chances of winning something in this program is one in nine," Cuomo said, adding that when someone gets the vaccine "everyone wins".
The pilot scheme starts on May 24 and will run through May 28.
Anyone getting the Covid vaccine at one of the 10 mass state-run vaccination sites will get a ticket.
The plan is just part of a wider scheme to encourage New Yorkers to get vaccinated.
Cuomo also announced the state will set up pop-up vaccination sites at seven airports across New York as summer approaches and more travellers take to the skies.
Any US resident arriving or departing, along with airport workers, will be able to use the service.
Cuomo’s “Vax & Scratch” comes after Ohio’s Governor Mike DeWine announced plans to launch a lottery incentive to get people vaccinated.
"Ohio Vax-a-million” offers the chance of one Ohio resident winning $1m each week, with the scheme running for five weeks.
Cuomo’s announcement comes as New York starts to roar back into life as bars and restaurants fully reopened and warmer weather arrived.
Residents of the Big Apple responded to the easing of the city's Covid-19 restrictions by flocking to bars, restaurants, and parks in largely maskless droves as temperatures soared into the mid-80s.
NYC was one of the hardest-hit cities during the first few months of the Covid-19 pandemic, and for a long time was considered the US epicenter of the virus.
For the last 13 months, the city has been under some of the strictest measures in the country, forcing the so-called "city that never sleeps" into an uncharacteristic slumber.
But finally, the city turned a page on the pandemic yesterday as vaccinated New Yorkers were able to shed their masks and abandon social distancing, both indoors and outside in large groups.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo called the city's reopening a key milestone in the state's fightback against coronavirus in a statement earlier this week.
"This means that, 399 days after New York was the first state in the country to implement a mask mandate, effective today, fully vaccinated individuals no longer need to use a face covering in most public places," Cuomo said.
Mayor Bill de Blasio also celebrated the winding back of Covid restrictions, declaring Summer 2021 as the "summer of New York City."
As of Tuesday, more than 42 per cent of all New Yorkers have been fully vaccinated, which includes the newly eligible 12-15-year-olds.
For the state’s adult population, that figure rises to 53 per cent.
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