Philly to give away up to $50,000 to dozens of vaccinated people

PHILADELPHIA, PA - MARCH 02: A member of the U.S. Armed Forces administers a COVID-19 vaccine to a police officer at a FEMA community vaccination center on March 2, 2021 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Located at the Pennsylvania Convention Center, the site is being run as a partnership between the city and the federal government. It is part of a nearly $4 billion plan for FEMA to support more than 400 community vaccination centers across the country.
PHILADELPHIA, PA - MARCH 02: A member of the U.S. Armed Forces administers a COVID-19 vaccine to a police officer at a FEMA community vaccination center on March 2, 2021 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Located at the Pennsylvania Convention Center, the site is being run as a partnership between the city and the federal government. It is part of a nearly $4 billion plan for FEMA to support more than 400 community vaccination centers across the country. Photo credit Mark Makela/Getty Images

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — The City of Philadelphia and the University of Pennsylvania have teamed up to offer a new incentive for residents to get the COVID-19 vaccine, via a scientifically-designed sweepstakes.

The Philly Vax Sweepstakes will give away $400,000 to 36 lucky winners, with prizes from $1,000 to $50,000.

There will be three drawings, with 12 winners each, beginning June 21.

Names will be drawn from a database of all the city's residents, or you can insure your spot in the pool by:
- Registering for the online drawing by clicking here
- Calling 1-877-642-5666 from 8 a.m.-7 p.m.
- Texting "Phillyvax" to 215-608-9799

Only people who received the vaccine before the drawing can win.

Professor of Operations, Information, and Decisions at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania Dr. Katy Milkman says that builds in an extra incentive she calls the "regret lottery."

"Just imagine the regret you'd feel if you got that call and discovered you would have won $50,000, if only you'd gotten your vaccine," Milkman said.

The sweepstakes also targets the most undervaccinated zip codes. In each drawing, half the winners will be chosen from one of those zip codes, beginning with 19126 in Oak Lane.

"The idea is that all Philadelphians have a chance to win, but if your zip code is selected, your chances of winning a prize get a lot bigger," Milkman added.

Officials acknowledge there are many different reasons that roughly a third of Philadelphians have not yet been vaccinated, but they believe this could motivate some to do so. Penn will study the results to see how it works.