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Justin Schatz is The Paper's daily news reporter. He has reported on New Mexico for KRQE News, Searchlight NM and the Santa Fe Reporter.

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In an effort to vaccinate 60 percent of New Mexico residents by June 30, the New Mexico Department of Health and New Mexico State Lottery is offering up to $10 million dollars in prize money as an incentive for New Mexicans to get vaccinated. The prize money will be available this summer to New Mexicans who will receive or who have already received their vaccinations. 

According to the Department of Health‘s COVID vaccine dashboard, just over 65 percent of eligible New Mexicans have at least one shot, and just over 55 percent are fully vaccinated. To encourage New Mexico residents that have yet to receive their vaccine, a series of prizes are on the table. “I’m excited to add a little fun to our nation-leading vaccination push,” Governor Lujan Grisham said. 

In a weekly drawing, one New Mexico resident from each of the state’s four public health regions will receive $250,000. One lucky winner will also receive the grand prize of $5 million dollars in early August.

Other prizes up for grabs through this partnership range from 18 “staycation” travel packages, ranging in value from $600 to $1,100, that will include four nights of accommodation and gift cards to local businesses. Other prizes offered are fishing and hunting licenses, state park passes, as well as day use passes for museums and New Mexico cultural sites. 

To claim a prize, a resident needs to present their vaccination card to verify that they were vaccinated. Participants must be 18 years or older and a resident of New Mexico. Residents employed by the New Mexico Lottery, the Office of the Governor, and those appointed by the Governor, including their families, are not eligible to enroll in this program. 

“New Mexicans have sacrificed a lot over the last year. Now anyone who has stepped up to get their shots will have a chance to win some excellent prizes,” the governor said. New Mexico has enacted some of the strictest health measures in the country to combat the pandemic. The state is also a regional and national leader in vaccination rates. The governor hopes that this incentive will help the state reach its ultimate goal of vaccinating at least 60 percent of New Mexicans by June 30.

To be eligible New Mexicans must sign up at vax2themaxnm.org. If you still haven’t registered for your vaccine, you can register and self-schedule at vaccinenm.org.

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