Scratch-offs, beer and more: Here's the free stuff you can get with your NY COVID vaccine
If you’re weighing the prospect of getting vaccinated against COVID-19 in New York, know that a $20 lottery ticket, free beer or doughnuts could be in your future if you decide on the shot.
New York will offer a Mega Multiplier scratch-off lottery ticket to anyone who gets a shot at one of 10 state-run mass-vaccination sites next week, making it the latest state to try to incentivize vaccination by offering the prospect of money.
The lottery ticket is a $20 value and comes with a chance of winning a top prize of $5 million. The ticket comes with a 1 in 9 chance of winning cash, with prizes beginning at $20, according to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
“Everybody wins," Cuomo said at a news conference Thursday near Buffalo. "You have a 1 in 9 chance of winning the lottery, and you get the vaccine.”
A number of sports teams, food and beverage establishments and retail stores are providing discounts or freebies to New Yorkers who show proof of vaccination.
It's all aimed at convincing more and more people to choose vaccination as the state continues its historic effort to reach herd immunity against the coronavirus, which has killed more than 40,000 people in New York since the start of the pandemic.
As of Wednesday, about 43% of New Yorkers had completed their vaccination, while at least 51% had at least one shot, according to the governor's office. But the pace of vaccination in New York and across the country has slowed in recent weeks.
Here’s a roundup of where you can find incentives to get a vaccine:
Free scratch-off ticket - Anyone who gets vaccinated at one of New York's 10 state-run mass-vaccination sites (including the Dome Arena near Rochester, SUNY Poly near Utica, the State Fair grounds near Syracuse and more) will get a Mega Multiplier lottery ticket worth $20.
The scratch-off ticket has a 1 in 9 chance of winning a cash prize, which starts at $20 and carries a grand prize of $5 million, according to the state. The state is running its Vax & Scratch program from May 24-28 at the 10 state sites.
Shake Shack - Vaccinated people can get a free side of fries at 25 locations in New York City by showing their vaccination card.
Krispy Kreme - Vaccinated people can get one free glazed doughnut per day at any U.S. Krispy Kreme location by showing their vaccination card with either one or two shots completed. No other purchase is necessary.
Staples - Residents can get their vaccination cards laminated for free at all Staples locations.
White Castle - Get a free “dessert-on-a-stick,” including Gooey Buttercake-on-a-Stick or Fudge Dipped Cheesecake-on-a-Stick, from the fast food chain with proof of vaccination. No other purchase is necessary.
Shot and a Chaser, Erie County - A number of breweries in the Buffalo area are offering free beer with a vaccine at a one of their vaccine clinics in the coming weeks. Go to Erie County's vaccination website for more information.
TriCity ValleyCats - A visit to an Opening Day vaccine clinic on June 4 will get attendees a family four-pack of tickets to a game on Aug. 29.
New York Yankees and New York Mets - Those who get vaccinated on game day at an onsite clinic will get a free ticket to the game.
Brooklyn Nets - Those who get vaccinated on site at a mobile vaccination site at Barclays Center can be entered into a raffle to win a ticket to a playoff game. Those who are already vaccinated can also enter the raffle, Mayor Bill de Blasio said Tuesday.
Buffalo Bisons - Sahlen Field in Buffalo will host a vaccination clinic on June 1. Anyone who gets vaccinated will receive a voucher for a free ticket to a Buffalo Bisons game.
Toronto Blue Jays - At the June 1 clinic in Buffalo, they'll host a vaccine raffle for prizes, including four tickets to the Blue Jays-Yankees game in Buffalo, three autographed baseballs from star players and an autographed jersey from a star player.
Destiny USA, Syracuse - A number of retailers and eateries are offering deals if residents get vaccinated at onsite clinics on May 22 and June 12, including:
- Lane Bryant: $25 off of a purchase of $75
- Sip Sip Hooray: 10- 20% off
- Cinnabon: free cinnabon with the purchase of any Chillata blended beverage
- Claire’s: 20% off one regular-priced item
- Destiny USA’s Carousel: one complimentary ride
- Finger Lakes Coffee Roasters: complimentary small coffee/hot chocolate or buy 1 pound of beans, get 1/2 a pound free
- World of Beer: $5 off (with a minimum purchase of $20)
Crossgates Mall, Albany - Get these deals and more if you get vaccinated at the Crossgates vaccination site or show your vaccine card marked with a "Albany Xgates" note until Oct. 31.
- Clarks - 20% off your purchase
- Yogibo - 15% off your purchase
- Orange Julius - 10% off your purchase
- Francesca's - 20% off one full price item
- Planet Fitness - Free day pass
- 110 Grill - 10% off food and non-alcoholic purchases
New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio also announced free tickets connected to vaccines would be coming soon for the following New York City attractions:
- NYC Aquarium
- Brooklyn Botanical Garden
- Bronx Zoo
- Lincoln Center
- Brooklyn Cyclones
- NYC Ferry
- Public Theater
Sarah Taddeo is the consumer watchdog reporter for USA Today Network's New York State Team. Got a story tip or comment? Contact Sarah at STADDEO@Gannett.com or (585) 258-2774. Follow her on Twitter @Sjtaddeo. This coverage is only possible with support from our readers. Please consider becoming a digital subscriber.