Earlier this year, Amazon launched the Max Your Vax sweepstakes for our operations employees, to encourage front-line employees to get vaccinated. We offered a variety of weekly prizes—including two $500,000 grand prizes, six $100,000 cash prizes, five new vehicles valued at $40,000 each, and five vacations each valued at $12,000 that included 40 hours of paid time off.
Meet a few of the winners who won big after getting vaccinated against COVID-19.
$100,000 Prize Winner: Idanny C., Sparrows Point, Maryland
Idanny C. immigrated to the United States from the Dominican Republic two years ago. He has been working as a power industrial truck driver for two months at Amazon’s fulfillment center in Sparrows Point, Maryland.
“I chose to get vaccinated because I wanted to be part of ending the pandemic,” he said. “It is not just for me, but for all of those around me.”
Idanny plans to use his winnings to buy a new home for his family and help move his wife and children to the United States.
“I plan to stay at Amazon and continue to give it my all,” Idanny said. “There are so many growth opportunities within the company, and I’m excited for what the future holds.”
Vacation winner: William B., Middleton, New Jersey
Before the pandemic, William B. was a partner in a successful catering business. When the pandemic hit, he lost everything—including his business, house, and car. To add to the devastation, his brother caught COVID-19 and became very sick.
To help make ends meet, William B. applied for a job at the Amazon fulfillment center in Middletown, New Jersey, where he became vaccinated at an on-site COVID-19 vaccination event.
“I was kind of scared of getting vaccinated anywhere, but my brother got sick from not getting vaccinated, so I just wanted to show people that it works," William said. "Get vaccinated. My brother is doing OK. He's back working, but when he was sick, it was scary. He couldn’t even breathe.”
William plans to take his week-long paid vacation time off at home and will use the $12,000 vacation prize money to repair some of the financial damage caused by the pandemic. He’s also looking into restarting his catering business on the side.
"It was almost a godsend because, when I came to Amazon, they presented me with so much love, it was really crazy,” William said. "With the support that they offered, I would stay at Amazon. They have so much to offer me there. I could retire there. If I need anything, Amazon is always there for me... I'm pretty much enjoying that right now."
$500,000 grand prize winner: Arnita T., Cleveland, Ohio
Arnita T., an Amazon employee at our fulfillment center in Cleveland, Ohio, recently became the final winner in our Max Your Vax sweepstakes, winning the second $500,000 grand prize. Arnita has been a front-line employee since the pandemic began.
Before joining Amazon in June, Arnita worked as a cashier at a local grocery store. When COVID-19 vaccines became available, she was initially hesitant. But she ultimately chose to get vaccinated last March with encouragement from the store’s pharmacist.
The COVID-19 pandemic deeply impacted Arnita’s family. Her son contracted the virus in April 2020 and was admitted to the hospital. Her son recovered, but Arnita lost four other family members to COVID-19.
“If you can fight this virus and save the lives of yourself, family, and friends, then do it,” said Arnita. “You can’t fight COVID-19 alone, you need armor to fight this. The vaccine is armor. Fight for your own life and your family and friends’ lives.”
Arnita plans to purchase a new three-bedroom home with her winnings so her children and grandchildren can always stay with her. She plans to continue working at Amazon.
“I don’t want to leave Amazon, I love it,” said Arnita. “I might take a little time off, but I’ll be back.”
Amazon continues to provide vaccination education and support
We believe getting vaccinated is the most important thing our employees can do to protect themselves and our communities against COVID-19. We are proud to continue investing significant resources to encourage our employees to choose to get vaccinated by removing barriers and making it as easy and convenient as possible.
Max Your Vax is only one of the ways we’ve encouraged employees to become vaccinated. We regularly share vaccine education messages and resources to address hesitancy and fight misinformation. We have also hosted more than 1,800 free on-site vaccination events that have made the COVID-19 vaccines available to more than 1 million Amazon employees and their families.
In the U.S., we also provide our non-exempt, hourly workforce with a $40 per-dose incentive, regardless of where they got vaccinated. And for fully vaccinated new hires, we offer a $100 sign-on bonus.