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West Virginia to give away guns and trucks in COVID-19 'vaccination incentive lottery'

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West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice (R), Babydog (Image source: Gov. Jim Justice YouTube video)

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice (R) has joined the ranks of governors who are incentivizing people to get vaccinated for COVID-19 by conducting a lottery where only inoculated residents may participate.

But the state is setting itself apart by offering an array of prizes beyond cash, including firearms and trucks.

What are the details?

Gov. Justice announced during a media briefing that the lottery will launch on the state's upcoming 158th birthday on June 20, where a handful of West Virginians will become millionaires, and other winners will receive getaways to West Virginia state parks, customized pick-up trucks, lifetime hunting and fishing licenses, and even custom rifles and shotguns. The drawings will go through Aug. 4.

The Republican noted that to become eligible, residents must have at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.

Also, all West Virginians ages 16-35 who have been fully vaccinated may register to receive either $100 savings bond or $100 gift card. Students ages 12 to 25 will also be eligible to win one of two full, four-year scholarships for any institution in the state, The Hill reported.

"There are going to be so many wonderful prizes that you can win, it will blow you away," Gov. Justice said. "We are going to make a few West Virginians millionaires before this is over. Some people will win trucks and scholarships and on and on, but we've got to get you vaccinated first."

"Not only are a bunch of people going to win all kinds of great stuff, but, by getting vaccinated, it'll protect your life and it'll protect your family and friends all around you," he went on to say. "Save a life; change your life."

Justice also brought his beloved bulldog, Babydog, into his news conference last week to urge West Virginians to get the COVID-19 shots.

"If you won't do it for me, if you won't do it for your family, you've got to get vaccinated for Babydog," the governor said. "She wants you vaccinated so badly."

Gov. Justice holds press briefing on COVID-19 response - May 27, 2021 www.youtube.com

Anything else?

Forbes noted that West Virginia is not alone in offering gun-related incentives for getting vaccinated, reporting that "Illinois has also set up a mobile vaccination site at a shooting range in the state and is giving away 100 free targets to anyone who gets the vaccine there."

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