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Ross: Washington finally has a vaccine lottery!

(Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

When Ohio started the vaccine lottery trend, critics called it a stunt. A grave misuse of money. But all that evaporated when the numbers came in, showing the vaccination rate for people 16 and older jumped 28%.

Who can object to this?

We have no problem using lotteries to cater to plain old greed, so how can it be wrong to use a lottery to save lives? It can’t. So, good for Governor Inslee. And by the way, since all of us vaccinees are automatically entered, this will be the first time I’ve played the lottery — except for the time I bought into a newsroom pool under pressure from Ursula.

We can’t stop here. It’s time to extend this idea. It’s time to stop using fear and guilt to encourage good behavior, and dangle money instead.

You want to discourage tax evasion? Each year the IRS should have a lottery to award $5 million to 50 Americans whose tax returns were perfect. Every perfect tax return is automatically entered.

As a thank you to carpooling commuters, Good 2 Go should award a $5,000 prize each month to a carpool in the Express Toll Lanes.

Drivers who go six months without a parking ticket, school zone ticket, or moving violation are automatically entered in the Hero Driver Lottery.

Instead of telling people to take transit to “save us from global warming,” every swipe of your ORCA card should automatically enter you in the POWERBUS MEGARIDE Lotto. Buses and trains would be packed with riders blissfully dreaming of taking that elevator to the Department of Imagination – and fare evasion would disappear.

Americans want to do the right thing, but we do not like being threatened. We want to be rewarded. We don’t demand money every time we do something right, we just want the chance at that big score. Give us that, and we’ll even let a stranger stick us with a needle.

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