Joplin man one of many winners in MO VIP drawing

Back in July, the Missouri department of health and senior services partnered with the Missouri lottery to periodically draw nine hundred vaccinated Missourians to each win $10,000.

JOPLIN, Mo. –Back in July, the Missouri department of health and senior services partnered with the Missouri lottery to periodically draw nine hundred vaccinated Missourians to each win $10,000 dollars.

“So now we have about 560,000 people that have  registered to win the MO VIP,” said Lisa Cox with the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services.

They’ve already announced the first one hundred and eighty winners, among the seven local winners was Joplin resident Alex Karnes.

“I woke up and was like ah I think I just won ten thousand dollars, and looked back at the emails and was like, I guess that’s what had happened.”

Karnes received his first dose of the vaccine on July 26th, and didn’t know about the lottery at the time.

“I was talking to my parents, and they told me about the Covid vaccine lottery. I didn’t even know it was a thing, so I got onto the Department of Health and Senior Services website, low and behold saw it there. So I entered and I guess I was the lucky one.”

Although the state health department can’t say for certain that the lottery caused the state’s vaccine rates to go up, they think it could have helped some finally roll up their sleeves.

“We can’t say for certain if it was the vaccine incentive program that really gave them the nudge they needed, we have heard anecdotally from some individuals that really that was the nudge that they needed to get going and try to win that money,” Cox said.

Now, Karnes who works in the insurance industry, says he has a plan for when he get’s his $10,000.

“Save and invest, save and invest. I was a financial advisor, I’m an insurance agent. That’s kind of what we’re taught and learn….it’s kind of a crazy thing, was never expecting it, you know I’m gonna just keep living life as I normally would.”

The next drawing in the state vaccine lottery will occur tonight.

Additionally, the Newton County Health Department will be hosting a vaccine lottery of their own. The lottery will be broken down into three different age groups.

  • 12-17 years old
  • 18-25 years old
  • 26 years old and up

The Health Department will draw 10 people from each group, and each person will receive a $100 visa gift card. The drawing will take place on October 1st.