One lucky (and vaccinated) adult Coloradan will become a million dollars wealthier this week, the first of five to win the Colorado Comeback Cash sweepstakes Gov. Jared Polis announced late last month.
If you’ve received at least one dose of a free coronavirus vaccine in the state, you’ll automatically be entered into the Colorado Immunization Information System — the state’s immunization-record tracking database from which winners will be randomly selected.
But technical issues initially left some out of the pool and ineligible to win.
Around 65,000 people who were fully vaccinated through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs weren’t included in state records. Furthermore, the state health department said at least 11% of any vaccinations are not entered into the database within 72 hours of administration, according to CPR.
On Friday, the state health department resolved the VA issue.
“We have worked closely with the Veteran’s Administration to find a solution with their eligibility in the upcoming $1 million drawings,” the state department said in a statement, “and we are pleased to announce that individuals vaccinated through the VA will be eligible.”
Eligibility will also remain open to state and county prisoners who receive vaccinations.
However, vaccinated federal prisoners aren’t eligible because their information is not entered into the Colorado Immunization Information System. The state didn’t say whether it plans to eventually include them.
Entry into the pool is contingent on residency in Colorado, not U.S. citizenship, meaning immigrants in the U.S. illegally who get vaccinated will be added.
To check and see if you’ve been entered, visit the Colorado Immunization Information System here. If you don’t see your name, contact the state department of health with information here, and ask to provide proof of vaccination to be added.
Problems finding records could be a result of provider-reported information not matching what individuals enter in the portal, according to the state health department.
Colorado Comeback Cash mirrors Ohio’s “Vax-a-Million” sweepstakes, whose incentive program has seen success and been replicated in other states including New York and Maryland.
Colorado also plans to set up a scholarship program for vaccinated residents ages 12 to 17, similar to Ohio, which is giving five free full-ride college scholarships to vaccinated students.
Award money comes from the CARES Act, the federal coronavirus stimulus package passed in March 2020.
Drawings for the remaining $1 million prizes will continue throughout the month. The first four winners will be drawn on Wednesdays and announced the following Fridays. The final recipient will be selected Friday, July 2, and be revealed Wednesday, July 7.
People needed to receive at least a first vaccination through Tuesday to be eligible for this week’s drawing.