By: Teresa Mull

West Virginia is offering residents who get the COVID-19 vaccine a pretty sweet incentive, especially in a day and age in which guns are increasingly hard to buy.

Republican Gov. Jim Justice announced this week the launch of a lottery program aimed at awarding West Virginians who get vaccinated several prizes, including “a $1.588 million grand prize, a $588,000 second prize, full scholarships to any higher education institution in West Virginia, custom-outfitted trucks, weekend vacations at state parks, lifetime hunting and fishing licenses, custom hunting rifles, and custom hunting shotguns,” according to the governor’s website.

“The faster we get people across the finish line the more lives we save. That’s all there is to it,” Gov. Justice said in the press release. “If the tab just keeps running the cost is enormous. The hospitalizations are enormous. We have to get all of our folks across the finish line.” reports other states are offering cash incentives and other giveaways, including free beer and amusement park tickets.

West Virginia’s guns “will be paid for through federal pandemic relief funds,” reports NPR – a slap in the face to the Biden administration, which is seeking to outlaw “any semi-automatic rifle capable of accepting a detachable magazine above the caliber of .22…”

…that is, if Biden’s would-be ATF director can figure out what an “assault rifle” is.

Teresa Mull ( is editor of Gunpowder Magazine.