Las Vegas Man Wins $1 Million Vaccine Jackpot

(Associated Press) A man from the Las Vegas area won the $1 million grand prize Thursday to cap an eight-week coronavirus vaccination jackpot program.

Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak created the program to boost enthusiasm for COVID-19 shots.

The prize winners were introduced by their first name and last initial at a live event hosted by the governor at the Las Vegas Convention Center and aides at the Sierra Arts Foundation’s Riverside Gallery in Reno.

The program called Vax Nevada Days launched June 17 with $5 million in federal coronavirus relief funds. State health data showed the percentage of vaccinated state residents increased about 10% between the time the prize pool was announced in mid-June and when it ended Thursday.

The head of the 397,000-member United Auto Workers union says it’s against requiring members to be vaccinated against the virus that causes COVID-19.

New President Ray Curry says if any of the 700 companies that employ union members wants to impose such a requirement, it would be subject to bargaining with union officials.

Curry told reporters Thursday that the union encourages members to get vaccinations and consider boosters when they are available. But the union respects members’ wishes if they don’t want to be vaccinated for religious, medical or personal reasons, he said.

The UAW would be against mandates even if infected workers could endanger fellow employees, Curry said.

“We also believe that the employers and the employees that we represent in those locations still have a voice, and we will have to take those things under consideration,” he said.

No employers have contacted the union about requiring vaccines or imposing additional health care costs on employees who aren’t vaccinated, Curry said.

Illinois will require all educators from kindergarten through college and health care workers to get COVID-19 vaccines or submit to weekly testing.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker also announced Thursday a new statewide mandate on wearing masks indoors in response to a spike in cases. Pritzker says hospital systems are becoming overwhelmed in areas with low vaccinations rates and where there are fewer hospitals.

The rules overlap in some places, with masks already required in schools and Chicago schools requiring teacher vaccines. The mask order begins Monday and applies to those over age 2, regardless of vaccination status.