SANTA FE — The state of New Mexico’s Vax 2 the Max Sweepstakes, a $10 million total cash sweepstakes funded by federal stimulus and intended to incentivize COVID-19 vaccinations, produced its first four prize winners Friday afternoon.
With $1 million at stake, four vaccinated New Mexicans – one from each public health region of the state – are each prospective winners of $250,000, as drawn at random by the New Mexico Lottery.
The New Mexico Department of Health (DOH) is verifying the identity, eligibility and vaccination status of each prospective awardee, in accordance with the sweepstakes rules, before declaring them official prize winners.
The prospective winners will have three business days to come forward after being contacted by DOH, per sweepstakes rules.
The four prospective winners are residents of Albuquerque, Santa Fe, Las Cruces and Ruidoso.
A total of 460,587 vaccinated New Mexicans opted in to the sweepstakes for the first drawing.
The breakdown to win $250,000 in each public health region was:
- Northwest: 1 in 276,405;
- Northeast: 1 in 85,509;
- Southwest: 1 in 68,371; and
- Southeast: 1 in 30,302.
Non-winning entries will be carried over to each successive $1 million drawing. New Mexicans who have opted in to the sweepstakes do not have to re-opt in to remain eligible for future drawings.
Vaccinated New Mexicans who have not yet opted in to the sweepstakes still can opt in for future drawings; the deadline to opt in for each drawing locks at 6 p.m. the night before the drawing.
Four more $1 million Friday drawings, with four regional $250,000 winners each, will occur throughout the summer, each conducted by the New Mexico Lottery.
The next $1 million drawing is scheduled for July 2, followed by drawings scheduled for July 16, July 23 and July 30.
A grand prize drawing of $5 million is scheduled for early August.
Winners are selected by the New Mexico Lottery, which is conducting the sweepstakes on behalf of the state administration.
The sweepstakes and other financial incentives have contributed to increased interest in vaccinations statewide. The vaccineNM.org website realized a 6,000 percent increase in traffic this week versus the week before, and a 250 percent increase in first time visitors week over week.
New Mexicans who have received at least one COVID-19 vaccination may opt in to the sweepstakes at vax2themaxNM.org. To be eligible for the $5 million grand prize, New Mexicans must have completed their vaccination series — so sign up for your shots soon! New Mexicans can schedule their shots at vaccineNM.org.
The rules and regulations of the sweepstakes are available here.