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Arkansas: Lotto tickets, gift certificates for vaccinated

May 25, 2021 GMT

LITTLE ROCK, Ark (AP) — Arkansas will begin giving lottery tickets and gift certificates for hunting and fishing licenses to people who get the coronavirus vaccine, Gov. Asa Hutchinson announced Tuesday.

Hutchinson said $20 scratch-off lottery tickets or $20 Game and Fish gift certificates will be offered to residents who get the first dose of the vaccine starting Tuesday. The incentives will be available starting June 1 at local health units or at special events around the state.

Arkansas has had one of the lowest vaccination rates in the country. About 39% of the state’s population has gotten at least one dose of the vaccine, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The announcement follows efforts in other states to offer incentives for people to get vaccinated, including a weekly $1 million prize being offered in Ohio. Hutchinson said Arkansas couldn’t legally offer a similar statewide drawing.

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The state is spending $2 million to buy 50,000 scratch-off tickets and 50,000 gift certificates for the promotion.

The state on Tuesday announced 329 new coronavirus cases, bringing its total since the pandemic began to 340,515. The state’s COVID-19 hospitalizations rose by five to 200 and deaths rose by four to 5,824.