Mendocino County resident wins $50,000 in Vax for the Win drawing

For Californians, it pays to get fully vaccinated under a new incentive program Gov. Gavin Newsom started.

One lucky person in Mendocino County was among 15 winners who each won $50,000 Friday in the state’s new Vax for the Win giveaway.

State residents who have at least started the vaccination process by getting the first shot in a two-injection inoculation against the coronavirus are eligible to win. The program is designed to motivate Californians to get vaccinated leading up to the state’s full reopening on June 15.

More than 21 million Californians age 12 and up are at least partially vaccinated and automatically entered to win. The second $50,000 drawing will take place June 11.

Newsom acknowledged that with California’s virus cases at record lows and the reopening looming, it will be hard to convince the unvaccinated to finally get their shots.

“Moving from 70% of adults to 75% and beyond, that’s stubborn, that’s difficult work,” he said.

Friday’s winners started being notified directly by the state Department of Public Health, within hours of the drawing and over the next four days, by telephone, text, email or other contact methods associated with the person’s record in the state’s vaccine registry. The state didn’t identify them, and each will have the option of remaining anonymous.

Several other winners were chosen from Bay Area counties, including three from Santa Clara, one from Alameda and two from San Francisco. Winners also were selected in San Luis Obispo, San Diego, Los Angeles and Orange counties.

“California has made incredible progress in the fight against COVID-19, with the lowest case rates in the entire country. ... We’re doing everything it takes to get Californians vaccinated as we approach June 15 to help us safely reopen and bring the state roaring back,” Newsom said.

Another 15 people will win $50,000 prizes in the June 11 drawing. On June 15, when the state reopens, 10 winners will be chosen to receive $1.5 million each, adding up to a total of $15 million in cash prizes. And 2 million newly vaccinated residents who receive their doses since Vax for the Win launched will be eligible to receive $50 prepaid gift cards and grocery cards.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. You can reach Staff Writer Kathleen Coates at

Kathleen Coates

Windsor and Cloverdale, The Press Democrat 

As someone who grew up in a small town, I enjoy covering what's happening in Windsor and Cloverdale, which are growing in their own unique ways.  I delve into issues by getting to know people and finding out what’s going on in the community. I also pay attention to animal welfare and other issues that affect Sonoma County.

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