NC COVID lottery: Everything you need to know about Your Shot at $1 Million

RALEIGH (WTVD) -- Over the next three months, four lucky, vaccinated North Carolinians will become millionaires.

The first COVID-19 $1M drawing happens Wednesday, June 23. Then another drawing happens every other Wednesday until August 4.

How does it work? Here are some answers to common questions from NCDHHS.

What are the prizes?
Four randomized drawings of $1 million each for a total of $4 million for all cash prizes

On the same dates as the drawings for cash prizes, four randomized drawings will take place, each for a scholarship in the amount of $125,00 for a total value of $500,000 for all scholarship prizes. The scholarship prize may be used only for expenses related to post-secondary education that are permitted under a 529-tax advantaged scholarship account (including but not limited to tuition and board).

When do the drawings start?
The first drawing of one cash prize and one scholarship prize will be conducted on Wednesday, June 23 and will occur biweekly thereafter on Wednesdays.

Do I have to make a purchase to enter the Promotion?
No. No purchase or payment is necessary to win. COVID-19 vaccines are free.

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How do the Scholarship Prizes work?
The Scholarship Prize will be in the form of a 529 tax-advantaged scholarship account in the North Carolina National Savings Plan, which is typically marketed as the NC 529 Plan administered by College Foundation, Inc. and implemented and maintained by NCSEAA. The scholarship prize will be held by the college foundation for the scholarship prize winner as beneficiary. College Foundation will process disbursements for eligible education expenses for the scholarship prize winner as defined in the NC 529 Plan program description. If funds remain in the NC 529 scholarship account for the scholarship prize winner when he or she reaches the age of 25, College Foundation will work with the scholarship prize winner to complete the necessary process to transition ownership of the NC 529 account to him or her.

Who is eligible to participate in the cash drawing?
  • The individual received at a vaccination site located in the State of North Carolina either the first dose of the Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine or the single dose of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine
  • At the time of the vaccination listed above, the individual was a North Carolina resident
  • The State of North Carolina received and accepted as valid the individual's vaccination and contact information by 11:59:59 pm the Sunday before the drawing
  • The individual is a living person who, at the time of the vaccination, was at least 18 years of age
  • The individual is not removed from eligibility under any of the other terms in these rules


What does it mean to be a "North Carolina Resident" for purposes of this Promotion?
For purposes of this Promotion, a person is a "North Carolina Resident" if, at the time of the vaccination, he or she dwells in North Carolina. The term "North Carolina Resident" includes without limitation persons living in North Carolina homes, rental units or rooms, vacation housing, dormitories, migrant worker camps, congregate living facilities, and military bases. The term "North Carolina Resident" also includes homeless people in North Carolina and people using vehicles in North Carolina as homes. However, the term "North Carolina Resident" does not include people who traveled to North Carolina from dwellings in other states or countries for the purpose of being vaccinated.

Who is eligible to participate in the Scholarship Drawings?
The eligibility requirements are as follows:
  • The individual received at a vaccination site located in the state of North Carolina either the first dose of the Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine or the single dose of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine
  • At the time of the vaccination listed above, the individual was a North Carolina Resident
  • The State of North Carolina received and accepted as valid the individual's vaccination and contact information by 11:59:59 pm the Sunday before the drawing
  • The individual is a living person who, at the time of the vaccination, was between the ages of 12 and 17
  • The individual is not removed from eligibility under any of the other terms in these rules


Are people who were vaccinated at a federal facility eligible?
Maybe not. Over the course of the Promotion, DHHS may not be able to access data from individuals who received their vaccinations at locations operated by the Department of Defense, Veterans' Administration, Indian Health Service, or other organizations. DHHS is working to make people eligible at Veterans' Administration and Indian Health Service sites. However, if the State of North Carolina does not have access to an individual's vaccination data at the time of the drawing, or if DHHS has not been able at the time of the drawing to add the individual's vaccination data to the DHHS list of entries, that person will be ineligible for that drawing.

Who is ineligible?
  • The Governor and his immediate family members
  • All members of the North Carolina Council of State and their immediate family members
  • The Secretary of DHHS and her immediate family members
  • All employees and independent contractors of the Office of the Secretary of DHHS and their immediate family members
  • All commissioners of the North Carolina State Lottery Commission and their immediate family members
  • Any employee, independent contractor, or employee of an independent contractor of the NCEL who has access to the random number generator used for the drawings and their immediate family members
  • Any incarcerated offender in custody serving an active felony sentence in a federal or state correctional institution
  • Those employees who assisted in the creation of the Promotion at the Governor's Office, DHHS, NCEL, the North Carolina
  • Department of Justice, and the North Carolina Department of Information Technology, and their immediate family members
  • Any employee or independent contractor of DHHS or employee or independent contractor of a third-party vendor of DHHS who has access to the COVID-19 Vaccine Management System ("CVMS") and their immediate family members
  • Any member of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians ("EBCI") who has access to the vaccination database for the EBCI
  • The independent auditor certifying the drawing


Are the drawings random and what are the odds of winning?
Yes, the drawings are randomized. The provisional winners of the drawings will be randomly selected from among all eligible entries. The odds of winning are dependent upon the total number of eligible entries, at the time of each drawing. Individuals receive one entry into the Promotion if, prior to June 10, 2021, they received either the first dose of the Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine or the single dose of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine. Individuals receive two entries into the Promotion, thereby increasing their odds of winning, if, on or after June 10, 2021, they received either the first dose of the Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine or the single dose of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine. No additional entries into the Promotion are provided for the second dose in the Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine series.

Can you give your prize to someone else?
Yes. A Prize winner can give a Prize to someone else. However, the winner may not assign or transfer the Prize before it is awarded or received. In addition, an individual that receives a transferred Prize may be subject to applicable state and federal taxes.

Are people vaccinated prior to the Promotion eligible?
Yes. Those that have been vaccinated before the Promotion starts are eligible. Individuals vaccinated before the start of the Promotion receive one entry. Individuals vaccinated on or after June 10, 2021 will receive two entries.

What is the notification protocol for drawing winners?
DHHS will attempt to contact each provisional winner of a Prize via the telephone, email address and/or address provided by that person when he or she was vaccinated. The provisional winner forfeits the Prize if DHHS is unable to contact him or her, or if the provisional winner fails to claim within the specified period.

What paperwork do I have to fill out to claim a Prize and is there a deadline?
Yes. There are deadlines for claiming Prizes. The provisional winner forfeits the Prize if DHHS is unable to contact him or her, or if the provisional winner fails to respond verbally or in writing that he or she intends to claim the Prize by the close of business (5 p.m. EDT) on the second business day following DHHS's first attempt to contact the provisional winner, or fails to submit consent and claim forms by the close of business on the business day following provisional winner providing his or her intent to claim the Prize (for example purposes only, if the drawing was held on a Wednesday and DHHS first attempted to contact the provisional winner on Thursday, the provisional winner must provide verbal or written intent to claim the Prize by 5 p.m. EDT on the following Monday and, if he or she provides the intent on Monday, he or she must submit the consent and claims forms by 5 p.m. EDT on Tuesday).

Do I need a social security number or tax identification number to participate in the promotion?
No, however, Prize winners will need to have a social security number or tax identification number before they can use any scholarship prize funds. If a scholarship prize winner does not certify that he or she is willing to set up a social security number or tax identification number, that will result in forfeiture of the applicable scholarship prize, and an alternate winner will be selected.

What if I don't want to participate in the Promotion? What if I don't want to receive the Prize?
Provisional winners contacted by DHHS may decline the Prize if selected.

How will DHHS protect my personal data?
DHHS maintains the records and personal data of those who have had COVID-19 vaccinations
administered at non-federal facilities in North Carolina within a secure computer system. NCEL
and the North Carolina State Lottery Commission have no access to that system. Personal data
will be retained by DHHS. DHHS will only share personal information for the purpose of
awarding the Prize, after obtaining consent of the Prize winner.

Can I remain anonymous if I win?
No. Prize winners must consent to use of their name, image, and likeness by NCEL, DHHS, and the Governor's Office for publicity purposes as a condition of receiving the Prize. Prize winners must also consent to having their name, address, and other identifying information be shared among state agencies as necessary to award the Prize.

Are the winnings subject to taxes or other withholdings?
Yes. Prizes may be offset by outstanding amounts owed to the state, including but not limited to, child support, court fees, taxes. Prizes are subject to all applicable state and federal taxes. For the drawing for individuals ages 18 and over, the winner will be responsible for any taxes associated with the Cash Prize.

If I get multiple COVID-19 vaccines, can I receive multiple entries to win?
No. Individuals will be automatically enrolled in the drawing based on receiving a dose of an approved COVID-19 vaccine. Individuals will not receive additional entries if they receive an additional COVID-19 vaccine. The COVID-19 vaccines have been proven safe and effective at their recommended doses. Receiving an extra COVID-19 vaccine dose is not clinically recommended. An extra dose may cause side effects and has not been studied.
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