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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — A man won $1 million from an Arkansas Scholarship Lottery ticket he received as part of the state's vaccine incentive program, the lottery announced Monday.

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TEXARKANA, Ark. — Governor Asa Hutchinson continued his series of town hall-style meetings he’s calling “Community COVID Conversations” in Texarkana Thursday.The conversations are geared toward reaching some of the more rural areas of the state, where the governor can answer community questions and encourage vaccinations. He’s also had them in places like Cabot, Blytheville and Forrest City.Hutchinson said our battle with COVID-19 has to be fought in the rural parts of the state, where the vaccination rates are the lowest.“We’ve come to the point that it’s really about what each individual does and what each community does in term of getting prepared,” he said.Miller County, where Texarkana is located, has the lowest recorded vaccine rate in Arkansas, with only 9.5% of its eligible population fully vaccinated and 1.9% partially vaccinated. 17% of the Texarkana population is vaccinated. However, the governor said the data isn’t the most accurate because Arkansas is getting all of the numbers from Texas.Dozens gathered at the Texarkana Convention Center Thursday night to express their concerns and get answers.“The questions here were more about vaccine efficacy, it was really one of the most honest discussions that we’ve had,” Hutchinson said.Several members of the community mentioned their distrust of the government, past racial injustices in health care, and unknowns about the long term effects of the vaccines.“There’s a lot that’s not known, we don’t have a free society that can have a conversation because of censorship,” Harvey Woods, a community member in attendance said.Both Hutchinson and health secretary, Dr. Jose Romero addressed their concerns alongside local community health officials and leaders.“All of the data on safety is publicly reviewed, it’s all available on the web, people can dial in and watch the discussions,” Romero said.Others shared their own skepticism. Dr. Lauren Robinson of Texarkana was pregnant when vaccines first became available. She ultimately made the decision to get the vaccine, and encouraged others to look deeper into it.“Think about, pray about it, talk to the leaders in your community and make the decision that’s right for you and your family,” Robinson said.I’m the end, some who started off the evening skeptical ended up taking advantage of a vaccine clinic set up on site, and got vaccinated.

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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of Arkansas Scholarship Lottery tickets that the state purchased to incentivize COVID-19 vaccinations could be wasted if they aren't claimed.Officials said the scratch-off game, the $1 Million Spectacular, is expected to be phased out by the end of the year. When asked what they'll do with unclaimed tickets, officials said they're considering their options.The state used more than $1.5 million in Federal CARES Act funds on two incentive programs. Residents vaccinated after May 26 are eligible for a $20 scratch off- ticket or a $20 voucher from the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission to purchase a fishing or small hunting license. The vouchers don't expire until June 2023.The Arkansas Department of Health said it spent $1 million on 50,000 scratch-off tickets and $532,500 on 50,000 vouchers or gift certificates.An additional $467,500 has not been spent and could be redirected to other immunization efforts, Department of Health spokeswoman Danyelle McNeill said.As of this week, just 4,000 scratch-off tickets have been claimed and 1,557 gift certificates have been handed out, according to the Department of Health. The Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration, the state agency tracking winners, told KATV a total of 1,055 people in Arkansas have won so far.Out of those winners:359 won $20157 won $30206 won $40223 won $5097 won $10013 won $500Two $1 million winning tickets and a $50,000 ticket are still in circulation.To claim a scratch-off ticket or Arkansas Game and Fish Commission voucher, residents can visit their local Department of Health unit with proof they've been vaccinated.The incentive program's coordinator said last month that the incentives were not working. Arkansas has one of the lowest vaccination rates in the country. More than half its residents are not vaccinated.