States across the United States are trying to convince residents to get the Covid-19 vaccine with a whole bunch of freebies in the offering like million dollar lotteries, college scholarships, free beer, and amusement park tickets .
Now the state of West Virginia has come up with a rather unique but controversial scheme: giving the newly-vaccinated the chance to win rifles and shotguns.
The state will give away five custom hunting rifles and five custom shotguns through its lottery, with the drawings taking place on June 20 for Fathers Day.
There will be a series of lottery drawings taking place weekly from June 20 through August 4, for which any West Virginian who’s received at least one dose of the Covid-19 vaccine will be eligible to register.
The lottery will also give one resident $1 million —along with prizes like full-ride scholarships, custom trucks and lifetime hunting and fishing licenses.
In addition to its lottery, West Virginia is also giving away $100 in savings bonds or gift cards to everyone ages 16-35 in the state who is fully vaccinated.
So far over 50% of West Virginians have received at least one dose of the Covid-19 vaccine, according to the state’s health department, approximately 915,000 people and 41.2% fully vaccinated.
According to a recent poll 28% of West Virginians were unwilling to get the Covid-19 vaccine.
The state’s prizes targeting demographics like gun owners could also help to combat vaccine hesitancy among Republicans, who polling has repeatedly shown are disproportionately more likely to refuse the vaccine than other demographics.