Philadelphia offers sweepstakes prizes up to $50K as incentive for residents to get COVID vaccine

Prizes up to $50,000 will be awarded, and people in some under-vaccinated ZIP codes will have an advantage
PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- The City of Philadelphia will hold a sweepstakes this summer - with prizes up to $50,000 - to help encourage residents to get a COVID-19 vaccine, and people living in some under-vaccinated ZIP codes will have an advantage over others.

A total of 36 vaccinated Philadelphians will win cash prizes, Mayor Jim Kenney announced on Monday.

The prizes will be awarded during three drawings, to be held on June 21, July 6 and July 19.

Residents must have a vaccination before the date of the drawing.

In each of the three drawings:

-6 individuals will win $1,000

-4 individuals will win $5,000

-2 individuals will win $50,000

"This exciting initiative offers an opportunity to reward Philadelphians who have already been vaccinated while also motivating those who haven't yet," Kenney said.

Half of the winners from each drawing will come from what vaccine lottery officials are referring to as "selected ZIP codes" within the city.

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The City of Philadelphia has announced sweepstakes that will include several drawings to be held this summer to help encourage more residents to get a COVID-19 vaccine.

Jeff Lambert and Sharon Mathis of Port Richmond are convinced the big prizes will encourage people to get vaccinated.

"They're going to be running tomorrow to go do that now. The mayor know's what he's doing," said Lambert

"Yeah, they gonna run," added Sharon Mathis.

To qualify as a selected group, the ZIP code has to rank among the 20 zip codes with the lowest vaccination rates.

In fact, 19126 has already been chosen for the first drawing on June 21.

"Residents of this ZIP code will have roughly 100 times the chances of winning prizes in our first drawing than other Philadelphia residents," says Dr. Katy Milkman who is a COVID Vaccine Lottery official.

More details as released by the mayor's office:

The sweepstakes will include special incentives to encourage vaccination in Philadelphia's least vaccinated communities:

-In each of the three sweepstakes drawings, one zip code from the 20 zip codes in Philadelphia with the lowest vaccination rates as of May 27th will be selected at random for extra prizes.

-Half of the winners of each prize category will be drawn from this "selected" zip code, and the other half will be drawn from all other Philadelphia zip codes.

-The selected zip code in each drawing will be publicly announced on the City of Philadelphia's website,, and on the City's social media accounts (Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram) roughly two weeks before the drawing, creating an added incentive for residents in that zip code to get their vaccine if they haven't already.

-No zip code can be a "selected" zip code more than once during the program, meaning there will be three "selected" Philadelphia zip codes in total.

-For the first sweepstakes drawing on June 21, the selected zip code is: 19126, which includes parts of East and West Oak Lane in North Philadelphia.

-The next ZIP code will be announced after the June 21 drawing.

-Residents 18 years of age or older from this zip code have roughly a 100 times greater chance of winning a cash prize than those in other Philadelphia zip codes.

-All Philadelphians who would like to participate in the sweepstakes are encouraged to register to guarantee their eligibility: names will be drawn from a pool of those who register as well as those in an existing residential database.

-Philadelphians whose names are selected will be contacted, and if they are unvaccinated, a new winner will be selected.

-Registration can be completed 24 hours a day in English or Spanish in the following ways:

*online at the Philly Vax Sweeps Official Website

*by phone at 1-877-642-5666 from 8 a.m. - 7 p.m. ET
*by texting "Phillyvax" to 215-608-9799

Registration confirms participation in all three sweepstake drawings, and duplicate entries will only count once. Once an individual registers, their entry will be carried over through all the drawings; it is not necessary to enter each week. To be eligible to receive a cash prize, each winner must meet all of the following criteria:

*Must currently reside in Philadelphia;
*Must be 18 years of age or older; and
*Must have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine prior to the drawing date.
*Financial support for the sweepstakes and related research is being provided by the Wharton School and University of Pennsylvania's Behavior Change for Good Initiative, the University of Pennsylvania's Center for Health *Incentives and Behavioral Economics, and Flu Lab.

The sweepstakes selection process will be conducted by Universal Promotions, Inc., a Pennsylvania company specializing in sweepstakes and digital and relationship marketing, utilizing their custom random selection system.

For more information, visit Philly Vax Sweeps Official Website. To learn where you can be vaccinated or to schedule an appointment, visit, or call 215-685-5488.
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