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State to start offering lottery tickets, gift certificates for vaccinated

by Arkansas Democrat-Gazette | May 25, 2021 at 4:00 p.m.
FILE — In this Jan. 13, 2020 file photo, Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson speaks to reporters in Little Rock. (AP Photo/Andrew Demillo, File)

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.

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.

— The Associated Press

EARLIER:

Gov. Asa Hutchinson will provide his weekly media update at 1:30 p.m.

Hutchinson will discuss ways to encourage Arkansans to get vaccinated against covid-19, as well as other "topics of the day," according to a news release by the governor's office.

Check back to watch the live video.

[Video not showing up above? Click here to view » https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YVLK_Wei69U]

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