The state Department of Health announced late Tuesday that William Romero of Los Alamos was the winner of the $5 million grand prize in New Mexico’s Vax 2 the Max sweepstakes.

The $10 million total lottery initiative was aimed at persuading more New Mexicans to get vaccinated. In addition to the grand prize winner, whose name was drawn Saturday, 20 vaccinated adults in the state won $250,000 each in weekly drawings throughout the summer.

The Department of Health said another vaccine incentive program, which offers $100 to people ages 12 and over who receive a vaccination, will continue through Aug. 31.

In the first week of August, daily vaccinations increased 25 percent over the weekly average in July.

Also Tuesday, hospital leaders urged unvaccinated residents to get inoculated as the daily case count rose to 688, the highest number since late January.

(4) comments

John Onstad

So how much did this cost/person vaccinated? I'm guessing too much.

Robert Fields

At first I thought the incentives were a good idea and they might entice some to get their shots, but it soon became apparent incentives weren’t having near the effect that was hoped. It was ambitious and the intent was good but overall it was a waste of money.

I realize there are issues of commitments already made to pay out these awards but please no new efforts paying people to get the vaccine. Republicans politicized everything covid and it’s now obvious that cash or a chance at winning a lottery won’t overcome that in most unvaccinated.

The stark realities of a very infectious delta variant and risks of death and disability are what is motivating people now. No need to give them money. Instead, the money could possibly be better spent and more effective publicizing final statements from the dying about regretting getting the vaccine. There isn’t a shortage of material.

Chris Mechels

This was a really stupid idea, essentially throwing $10 million out the window. All PR and no results. So like MLG herself, all PR and no results. A little incompetent with a big mouth and a lust for power. A known incompetent, from her 2007 removal as DOH Secretary, part of the NM "pass the trash" program. Even the Democrats can do better than this, can't they??

Carolyn DM

It's sad that it took seeing someone he knew die, for him to decide to get vaccinated.

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