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New Mexico to give away $10 million, plus prizes, in vaccination sweepstakes

Incentive rewards those who received COVID-19 vaccine
Megan Hatch, a nurse with the Professional Resource Team at San Juan Regional Medical Center, receives one of the first COVID-19 vaccines. Those who are eligible and receive the vaccine can win cash prizes as part of the Vax 2 the Max sweepstakes.

FARMINGTON – Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham this week announced the “Vax 2 the Max” sweepstakes to encourage and incentivize people to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

The statewide incentive will give away $10 million in prize money, along with other prizes and awards, during the summer, according to a news release from the Department of Health.

More than 55% of eligible New Mexicans have been fully vaccinated. San Juan County has a vaccination rate of 58.7%, higher than the state average, according to the Department of Health dashboard.

“Getting vaccinated is the right thing to do – for yourself, for your family and for your state,” said Lujan Grisham. “... Now anyone who has stepped up to get their shots will have a chance to win some excellent prizes.”

The state is separated into four health regions. Each week. one winner will be chosen from each region to receive $250,000 cash, for a total of $1 million each week during the summer.

Some of the other prizes include the opportunity to win one of 18 in-state “staycation” travel packages that include four-night accommodations and gift cards to local businesses in that area. Fishing and hunting licenses will also be some of the prizes awarded, as are annual passes to New Mexico State Parks and day passes for museums and cultural sites.

At the end of the sweepstakes, in early August, one winner from the entire state pool of those vaccinated will win a grand prize of $5 million.

The New Mexico Lottery will conduct drawings on behalf of Lujan Grisham’s administration, the release said.

San Juan Regional Medical Center spokeswoman Laura Werbner said the hospital staff members are excited the state is encouraging people to get vaccinated.

“Anything we can do that might change someone’s mind and help them decide to get the vaccine is a step in the right direction,” Werbner said of the sweepstakes. “Vaccination truly is the single most effective strategy we have to stop the pandemic. We hope anyone on the fence about vaccination will decide to participate and be eligible to win these generous prizes.”

To be eligible for the cash sweepstakes, participants must be 18 or older, a resident of New Mexico and have had the vaccine. Those who are eligible must opt in, register and verify their information, including vaccine information, at vax2themaxnm.org.

mmitchell@durangoherald.com

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