First state COVID-19 vaccine lottery drawings are Thursday. Illinois to give $10 million in prizes, scholarships to vaccinated residents over summer.

The first drawings in the state’s vaccine lottery are scheduled for Thursday afternoon, when one vaccinated Illinois resident will be awarded a $1 million prize and three vaccinated students will receive $150,000 scholarships.

In an effort to encourage the public to get vaccinated, Illinois is offering $7 million in cash prizes and $3 million in college scholarships through a lottery open to residents who have received at least one shot of a COVID-19 vaccine in the state.

The money, taken from federal coronavirus relief funds, will be distributed through weekly drawings beginning Thursday and ending in late August, according to state officials.

“Illinoisans should keep their phones on and check their emails regularly to find out if they’ve won,” a state news release said. “IDPH will call from 312-814-3524 and/or email from No personal information will be requested in the initial phone or email notification. Winners will have seven days to securely complete, sign and send the authorization form to IDPH to accept their prizes.”

Winners will be announced eight days after the drawing unless they choose to remain anonymous, according to the state.

Residents who received at least one vaccine dose in Illinois are eligible, except those who were vaccinated at certain federal facilities, according to a state news release. But the state is coordinating with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to make sure residents who were vaccinated at those facilities are included.

Vaccinated residents don’t have to enter to qualify, as winners will be drawn from state vaccination records. There will be three $1 million cash prizes and 40 $100,000 prizes; 20 youths will win a Bright Start college savings plan worth $150,000.

The first four winners will be contacted starting Thursday by the Illinois Department of Public Health. State health officials will announce the counties or cities of the winners immediately after the drawings are complete, according to the news release.

“Eligible residents are automatically entered into the lotteries,” the state said. “There are no sign ups, no forms, and no waiting lines. IDPH will continue to check their records before each drawing. Once entered, residents remain eligible in all future drawings, unless they win.”