One lucky, vaccinated Mainer is going to win a big chunk of cash on Independence Day.

Gov. Janet Mills announced Wednesday that a new “Don’t Miss Your Shot: Vaccinationland Sweepstakes” will pick one Mainer who’s had at least one COVID-19 vaccine shot to win $1 for every person in the state who is vaccinated by July 4.

The prize total will be more than $876,655, the number of qualifying Mainers on Wednesday.

But that number will rise as more Mainers get their vaccines through June 30, the final day to be eligible for the prize.

Mills said the new initiative is aimed at spurring more people to get vaccinated and perhaps to put Maine at the top of the heap for its success at doing so.

She said the state is competing with Connecticut and Vermont for having the best vaccination rate in the country.

“We’re right up there,” she said during the weekly COVID-19 briefing held by the Maine Center for Disease Control.

The governor said she wants to be No. 1.

Mills said the lottery idea was kicked around for a few weeks before officials decided it was a good option to encourage more people to get jabbed.

Both she and Dr. Nirav Shah said the state’s high vaccination rate has already brought the number of COVID-19 cases down sharply. The number of Mainers hospitalized with the disease has fallen by 63% in the past two weeks, Shah said.

Between 80% and 90% of those who are winding up in the hospital, he said, have not been vaccinated.

Overall, the state has seen 853 deaths from COVID-19, including five announced Wednesday, and more than 2,000 Mainers have been in the hospital at some point because of the coronavirus that first hit the state early in 2020.

“Getting vaccinated is the best way to protect yourself, your loved ones, and your community against COVID-19,” said Jeanne Lambrew, commissioner of the Maine Department of Health and Human Services, in a prepared statement

“The sweepstakes is just one way we’re promoting these safe and effective vaccines as we all work together to put the pandemic behind us as quickly as possible,” she said.

“Maine is already known as Vacationland, but to ensure that everyone can get together safely this summer, we also have to become Vaccinationland,” Shah said.

With a chance to win big money, he said, “There’s no better time to get vaccinated if you haven’t already.”

Those who want a shot of winning have to register beforehand online at or by phoning the Community Vaccination Line at (888) 445-4111.

The state said that entry into the sweepstakes requires providing your name, date of birth, email address, phone number, home address, and the name and location of the place that provided your COVID-19 vaccine. Entry for children between the ages of 12 and 17 also requires a parent or guardian’s name, email address, and phone number.

Maine residents who received their first dose of Pfizer or Moderna vaccine in another state, but received their second dose in Maine by June 30, 2021, are eligible. Maine residents who received both doses or the single-dose Johnson and Johnson vaccine in another state are not eligible.

The winner will be randomly selected from among all eligible entries, using a process that mirrors that used by the Maine State Lottery. Potential winners are subject to verification of eligibility and agreement to comply with the official rules.

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