CHARLESTON — During Tuesday’s briefing, Gov. Jim Justice called upon all West Virginians ages 12 and older who have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine to register online for the first drawing of the “Do it for Babydog: Save a life, Change a life” vaccination lottery.
According to a news release from the governor’s office, the registration deadline to be eligible to win in this first drawing is Wednesday, June 16, at 11:59 p.m. EDT.
“If you’re just dillydallying around and you haven’t registered, you’re blowing a chance to absolutely become a millionaire. You’re blowing a chance to win all kinds of prizes,” Gov. Justice said. “You have got to get registered.”
The first round of sweepstakes winners will be announced during this year’s West Virginia Day celebration at the State Capitol in Charleston recognizing the State’s 158th birthday this Sunday, June 20. The Governor also announced that the celebration will be open to the public and will begin at 1 p.m. on the front steps of the Capitol Building.
“We have a lot to celebrate on Sunday. We will be ending the mask mandate, we will celebrate our 158th birthday and Father’s Day on the same day,” Gov. Justice said. “We will hold the first drawing for the ‘Do it for Babydog’ sweepstakes, including our first million-dollar drawing. We will broadcast it statewide so that everyone all over can watch, but I encourage all who can to come out and celebrate with us.”
Additional drawings will be held weekly through Aug. 4. Weekly prize giveaways for vaccinated West Virginians ages 18 and older include one prize of $1 million, two brand new custom-outfitted trucks, 25 weekend getaways to West Virginia State Parks, five lifetime hunting licenses, five lifetime fishing licenses, five custom hunting rifles, and five custom hunting shotguns. Two full four-year scholarships to any public institution in the state will also be given away each week to vaccinated West Virginians ages 12-25.
The final drawing will also include a $1.588 million grand prize and a $588,000 second prize.
Over 185,000 West Virginians have registered for the sweepstakes to date. To register, visit DoitforBabydog.wv.gov.
Also on Tuesday, Gov. Justice announced that more than half of all West Virginians who are eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine have been fully vaccinated. To date, 784,131 of 1,557,837 vaccine-eligible West Virginians are now fully vaccinated; a rate of 50.3%.
Meanwhile, the State of West Virginia has achieved the second of three vaccination goals set by COVID-19 pandemic response leadership last month as part of the Governor’s “Call to Arms” vaccine initiative, surpassing a 85% first-dose vaccination rate among West Virginians ages 65 and older.
To date, 313,266 of 367,011 West Virginians in this age range have received their first shot; a rate of 85.4%.
West Virginia has already surpassed its goal of administering at least one dose of the vaccine to 75% of residents ages 50 and older, reaching 76.9% on Tuesday.
The State is less than four percent away from accomplishing its final goal of administering at least one dose of the vaccine to 65% of all eligible residents. As of Tuesday, 61.4% of the eligible population had received at least one dose.
“You’ve done good, West Virginia. But we still have more work to do to get across the finish line,” Gov. Justice said. “This terrible killer is not gone. But we have the power to stop it. You need to step up and get vaccinated.”
Additionally Tuesday, Gov. Justice announced that West Virginia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate has decreased once again, dropping three-tenths of a percentage point to 5.5 percent in May 2021.
West Virginia’s unemployment rate has declined for 13 consecutive months and remains better than the national unemployment rate of 5.8%.
The number of unemployed state residents decreased by 2,300 to 43,600.
Total employment was up 800 over the month.
COVID-19 vaccinations are now available to all West Virginians ages 12 and older.
All West Virginians interested in being vaccinated are urged to visit Vaccinate.wv.gov or call the West Virginia Vaccine Info Line: 1-833-734-0965. The info line is open Monday-Friday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
West Virginians can visit Vaccines.gov for assistance in locating and securing an appointment at one of these federal pharmacy partners.
Information provided by the office of Gov. Jim Justice.