Gov. Polis’s bright idea to give away $5 million in taxpayer dollars through lottery drawings as an incentive for Coloradans to take the COVID-19 shot actually resulted in a 68% reduction of vaccines.

Polis’s plan was such a flop, even the Denver Post is reporting it.

About 155,000 people received a vaccine during the week ending May 23, the last week before Polis announced on May 25 that the state would draw five $1 million winners, according to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.


In the week ending July 4 — the last with data on the state’s vaccine dashboard — only about 49,000 people got a shot.


That’s roughly a 68% decrease, suggesting the lottery didn’t dramatically improve the existing trajectory.

The governor’s office responded lamely that vaccinations would have dropped off even more if they hadn’t blown the $5 million.

So it was just a complete failure, and not a complete and utter failure, justified Conor Cahill, Polis’s spokesflak.

Colorado Senate Republicans did some quick Democrat math, and estimated that money could have been used to lift 1,388 children out of poverty for an entire year under U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet’s welfare reboot, also known as the child tax credit.