Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney recently unveiled the Philly Vax Sweepstakes, which will give three dozen residents cash prizes of up to $50,000, with three drawings this summer. (The first is Monday, June 21.) But there’s a catch: to win, you have to be vaccinated for COVID-19.
If your name is randomly chosen from a list of every adult in Philadelphia, you’ll be contacted by lottery officials. Exciting! But if you haven’t been vaccinated, you’ll lose your chance and someone else will take the money.
But in Philadelphia, if you win, you might still lose — if you haven’t been vaccinated.
This detail makes all the difference, said Alison Buttenheim, an associate professor of nursing and health policy at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing. She shared her insights with journalists during a webinar sponsored by the USC Center for Health Journalism.
“Anticipated regret…is very motivating,” Buttenheim said. Philadelphia’s lottery plays on our natural aversion to regret — the whole FOMO (fear of missing out) culture. It’s a true FOMO lottery: you might think, I would’ve won, if I had just gotten vaccinated.