Teen Wins $50K in California Vaccine Lottery, Others Forfeit Because They Couldn't Be Reached

California had 15 more winners of $50,000 in its second "Vax for the Win" lottery drawing for individuals who have received their vaccinations as part of their incentive program.

Their campaign appears to be successful, as Governor Gavin Newsom announced on Friday that the state has 40 million vaccinated residents—essentially, 70 percent of residents over the age of 18 have gotten at least one dose. He added that California has the lowest COVID-19 rate in the nation.

Fifteen winners of $50,000 were picked in the state's first vaccine lottery drawing last week.

All 30 of the people who received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine were eligible to win $50,000. Ten more winners will be announced on June 15 for the $1.5 million prizes.

All of the $50,000 winners from the second drawing Friday were identified publicly by county only, including those from San Francisco, San Mateo, Alameda, Santa Clara, Monterey, Sacramento, San Diego, Orange, Riverside, Kern, Fresno, and Los Angeles.

Meanwhile, Fox29 reported that Newsom announced a winner from last week's first drawing by name: 17-year-old Nancy Gutirrez of San Diego County. Because she is not yet 18, it is reported that her $50,000 will be put into a savings account until she is old enough to claim it.

Other winners, unfortunately, were unavailable to reach and had to forfeit their $50,000 wins after multiple attempts to contact them proved futile. California Department of Public Health spokeswoman Sami Gallegos said that two of the 15 winners from last week could not be reached. Two alternates were found and received the prizes instead.

The health department stated that they try to contact winners for up to 96 hours after the drawing, "after which time they may no longer be offered a prize and another person may be selected for the prize from the pool of eligible persons."

Fox29 reported that in total, the state of California will spend $116.5 million on the "Vax for the Win" lottery and $50 retail and grocery store gift cards.

Additionally, Newsom's office announced that the state has partnered with Taco Bell, Chipotle, the Los Angeles Clippers, the Golden State Warriors, and the Team LA Store at STAPLES Center to provide additional incentives.

"Californians are ready to come roaring back, they've proven that by getting vaccinated and helping our state keep COVID-19 transmission rates at record-breaking lows," Newsom said before drawing the winners of Friday's lottery. "Today's drawing and the new partnerships with California-based businesses are another exciting opportunity to express our gratitude and build excitement as we head into our state's full reopening next week."

Other states have implemented cash prize incentives for vaccines, such as Ohio, Maryland, Oregon, Colorado, Washington and New York.

Newsweek reached out to the California Department of Public Health for comment.

A man is vaccinated against COVID-19 in Villa Elisa, Paraguay on June 12, 2021. California has offered cash prizes of $50,000 to people who receive their first dose of the vaccine. Among the winners was a 17-year-old girl. Norberto Duarte/AFP via Getty Images