California draws 15 winners of $50,000 vaccine prizes

National

California Gov. Gavin Newsom announces a massive jackpot as the nation’s most populous state looks to encourage millions of people who are still unvaccinated to get their shots at a news conference at the Esteban E. Torres High School in Los Angeles, Thursday, May 27, 2021. California is giving away the country’s largest pot of vaccine prize money — $116.5 million — in an attempt to get millions more inoculated before the most populous U.S. state fully reopens next month. Newsom announced the prizes, which also include the nation’s highest single vaccine prize: $1.5 million. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California Gov. Gavin Newsom took a turn as gameshow host as the state drew the first 15 winners of $50,000 prizes for getting vaccinated against the coronavirus.

Newsom and two others drew the winners from a lottery machine Friday. It’s the first in a series of drawings, culminating in 10 grand prizes of $1.5 million each on June 15. That’s the day when the state expects to drop almost all coronavirus-related restrictions on businesses and gatherings.

The state will contact winners and give them 96 hours to claim their prizes.

Winners Friday came from Los Angeles, San Diego, Orange, Santa Clara, San Francisco, Alameda, San Luis Obispo and Mendocino counties.

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