In California, those vaccinated are entered in a draw for cash prizes totalling $116 million (R1.5 billion).
West Virginia is giving away guns to people who get a Covid-19 vaccine – guns, hunting licences, trucks, holidays, university scholarships, and maybe even a million bucks.
Yes, it’s the Fathers’ Day vaccine lottery: come get your first jab, all you vaccine-naysayers, and you stand a chance of winning huge prizes, including one of 10 guns, in the state with the eighth-highest level of gun violence in the United States.
New York has a vaccination lottery for teenagers offering 50 college scholarships; they’re also handing out state park passes alongside the injection.
In California, those vaccinated are entered in a draw for cash prizes totalling $116 million (R1.5 billion). In New Orleans, you get free lobster with your shot.
In Connecticut, it’s a voucher for a cocktail. In Maine, you get a free hunting or fishing licence.
In Detroit, they’re giving away $50 debit cards to those who bring a friend. In Alabama, vaccinated residents are allowed to take their car for a spin on the famous Talladega racetrack.
And South Africa has its own vaccine lottery too: if you’re registered, you might just get a vaccine. Your odds improve if you’re on medical aid and over 60.
You have a decent chance too if you’re literate, online, following the news and have heard via the grapevine that government vaccination centres are accepting walk-ins, because staff are handing out doses like lollipops to any registered over-60s who pitch up.
But, like the US, what are we going to do about those who are refusing vaccination through fear or mistrust, or because they think the jab is inserting communist nanobots or funding paedophilia or whatever this week’s social media rumour is?
Well, an American friend of mine – a fitness instructor – is finally recovering from several weeks of bedridden Covid-19 illness, and suddenly her anti-vaxxer parents are reconsidering their position.
Ditto some South Africans I vaguely know who were refuseniks until last week, when a friend of theirs lay dying in hospital.
Now they’re keen, because there’s no incentive like a close call. Coronavirus itself is a lottery, one in which you really don’t want your number coming up.
Please, get vaccinated. Take a friend. That way everyone wins.