Vax for the Win

California’s vaccine incentive program

Get vaccinated, get rewarded

The “You Call the Shot California” $50 card program ended January 7, 2022.

You must have redeemed your code for a $50 card by then. Cards are still valid after the program end date.

Questions and answers

For rules, eligibility, and more details, see Terms and Conditions.

How long will the incentive cards last? When will the program run out?

Cards were only available for the first 2 million eligible individuals who started their vaccination process between May 27 and July 18, 2021. The program ended January 7, 2022.

If I got my first dose before the incentive card program started, then get my second dose after it started, am I eligible?

No, you were not eligible to receive an incentive card. But you were eligible for the other cash and vacation prizes. The purpose of the card program was to motivate unvaccinated Californians to get vaccinated.

Can I get the $50 incentive card if I completed my vaccination before the program started?

No. The incentive card program was intended to motivate the remaining Californians to get vaccinated. However, already-vaccinated Californians were eligible for other cash and vacation prizes.

How do I get my redemption code?

If you started your vaccination between May 27 and July 18, 2021, you got a redemption code by text or email within 7-10 days after your last vaccination. For those receiving a two-dose series, your $50 card was set aside until your completed second dose.

How long after redeeming the incentive card did it take to receive it?

It took up to five business days to receive the incentive card.

How did people prove they had both doses? What if someone tries to cheat with a fake vaccine card?

COVID-19 vaccines are tracked in California immunization records. Incentive cards and other cash prizes will be awarded based on those records.

Was there a choice of incentive cards?

Yes, there were three choices:

  1. Virtual Mastercard®: Not an ATM card so it cannot be cashed out. It can be redeemed online where Debit Mastercard® is accepted. This is a virtual incentive card and can be added to a phone mobile wallet.
  2. Kroger: Good at Ralphs, Food 4 Less and Foods Co. We recommend printing the card, as not all grocery stores can scan it on a phone. (Note: Some Food 4 Less stores in Northern California and the Central Coast do not accept this card as payment. Check this list of participating Kroger locations.)
  3. Albertsons: Good at Safeway, Albertsons, Vons, Pavilions, and Andronico's Community Markets. We recommend printing the card, as not all grocery stores can scan it on a phone.

If you were younger than 18, you needed to have a parent or guardian complete the card selection process for you, unless you are an emancipated minor.

Does my redemption code ever expire?

Yes. You must have used the redemption code by January 7, 2022. Once claimed, the Virtual Mastercard® expires after 12 months. The grocery cards never expire.

What did I need to do to enter the drawings?

You just had to get vaccinated in California for COVID-19 before winners were drawn. No entry form was needed; you were automatically entered in the drawing based on California immunization records once your vaccinator provided the state vaccination registry with your information. Vaccinations counted whether you got the Pfizer, Moderna, or Johnson & Johnson vaccine. You must have been living in California to win. Winner got the prize after they completed their vaccination series.

What if I got vaccinated outside of California’s My Turn system?

You did not need to vaccinate through My Turn to be eligible. You were still eligible if your vaccination site was in California and reported doses given to the state.

What if I opted to not share my data with the Immunization Information Systems (IIS)?

The data was still reported to the state, so you would still be eligible for the incentive and other cash prizes.

How were winners notified?

The state protects your privacy, and has taken steps to protect Californians against scams. The winners were notified by officials from the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) through official "State of CA CDPH" caller ID, text, CDPH email address, or in person by CDPH district staff. Only CDPH knows the identity of the person associated with the random number that has been drawn. For more information, see the Terms and Conditions.

Winners were not asked to pay any fees associated with verifying eligibility for the cash prize. Any fraudulent activities or misinformation should be reported to Individuals can use this email address to report any concerns about the authenticity of any contact they have received related to cash prizes.

Did you make public the names of winners?

At the time of the drawing, no names were announced. Winners could decline the prize, or decline publicity associated with the prize.

Did a person need to be a U.S. citizen to win?

No. Eligibility was not determined by immigration status. Those eligible to win must only have met the following criteria:

  • Lived in California,
  • Were aged 12 and older for incentive cards and cash drawings, 18 and older for vacations drawings,
  • And received at least a first dose of their COVID-19 vaccine.

Who was not eligible?

You were not eligible if you were:

  • An employee of certain government agencies or their immediate family member, 
  • Incarcerated,
  • Lived outside of California, or
  • Got vaccinated outside of California. 

Prizes were awarded after the winner completed their vaccination series.

I got a call about Vax for the Win that seemed fraudulent. What should I do?

Winners were notified by the California Department of Public Health and were not be asked to pay any fees associated with verifying eligibility for the cash prize.

Any fraudulent activities or misinformation can be reported to Individuals should also use this email address to report any concerns about the authenticity of any contact they have received related to cash prizes.

Was personal health information shared through these vaccine incentive programs?

No, Californians' personal health information was not shared by these programs. The Lottery assisted the programs, but did not receive personally-identifiable information. All entries were anonymous to them.

The names of winners weren't disclosed without their consent. However, the county of the winner was announced. The state ensured the drawings were fair, honest, legal, and protective of personal information.

Who paid for this program?

This program was paid for by the State of California.

Do the Dream Vacations expire?

Yes. The Anaheim/Orange County Dream Vacation and the San Diego Dream Vacations must be used by May 31, 2022. The San Francisco, Greater Palm Springs and Los Angeles Dream Vacations must be used by June 15, 2022.

Are the Dream Vacations taxable?