CHARLESTON, W.Va. – West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice highlighted positive statistics during Tuesday’s virtual COVID-19 briefing.

The state has had only five deaths since last Thursday, Justice reported, while also explaining that the state’s 4,550 active cases are at their lowest level since early October 2020.

In terms of vaccinations, 84% of the state’s 65 and older population have gotten at least one shot, while 75% of those 50 older have also received at least their first shot.

After announcing plans, last week, for a sweepstakes for all West Virginians who’ve gotten at least one shot, Gov. Justice gave more details Tuesday.

Justice questioned why someone would need a giveaway as motivation to protect themselves from COVID-19, but said “it’s the way of the world,” now. Addressing those who have chosen not to get vaccinated, “I don’t know how in the world people are still sitting on the sidelines,” Justice said, asking “why in the world would you continue to take a chance?”

Getting more people vaccinated will save the state money on testing and hospitalizations, he explained.

The giveaway will run from June 20 to August 4, with prizes being handed out once a week.

The first prizes, which will be awarded on Father’s Day, will be:

  • 1 $1 million prize
  • 2 four-year scholarships to any West Virginia institution, for 12-25 year-olds
  • 2 new custom Rocky Ridge Ford F-150 pick-up trucks
  • 25 weekend getaways to West Virginia State Parks
  • 5 lifetime hunting and fishing licenses
  • 5 custom hunting rifles
  • 5 custom shotguns

After the first giveaway, a $1 million prize will be awarded each week, Justice said. Playing on the governor’s “Beat 588 Bad” slogan, a $1,588,000 grand prize and a $588,000 runner-up prize will be handed out on August 4, he said.

Any state resident who has received at least one shot is eligible, Justice said. To enter, residents will have to register on a website, which is still being developed.

Due to excitement generated by the giveaway, Justice expects a run on shots, he said.

The $100 savings bond or gift card program for 16-35 year-olds will also remain in effect, Justice said.