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This Happened: Gov. Newsom — With Minions Nearby — Draws Winners Of $1.5M 'Vax' Lottery

An image of Gov. Gavin Newsom's press conference at Universal Studios on June 15, 2021, the day the state's economy reopened. Newsom is joined by Los Angeles city leaders and residents, plus some costumed characters from the theme park.
Gov. Gavin Newsom's press conference at Universal Studios on June 15, 2021, the day the state's economy reopened. Newsom is joined by Los Angeles city leaders and residents, plus some characters from the theme park.
(Alberto E. Rodriguez
/
Getty Images)
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A maskless Gov. Gavin Newsom celebrated California's reopening Tuesday at Universal Studios Hollywood. Your eyes do not deceive you: he was, IRL, accompanied by the Minions from "Despicable Me," a robotic Optimus Prime and (double checking photo and the Internet) trolls?

Optimus Prime told the governor: "It is a privilege to stand by your side."

The bulk of the COVID-19 restrictions on businesses have disappeared, including capacity restrictions. Fully vaccinated customers can go mask-less in most situations

Newsom attributed the reopening to the more than 70% of Californian adults who've at least started the vaccination process.

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"Today is a day to reconnect with strangers, loved ones, family members, " he said, "… give people hugs … remind them we're not out of the woods, and remind them we're all in this together."

The governor also drew 10 more winners in the state's "Vax for the Win" incentive program. L.A. County had four winners. There was one each in Marin, Riverside, Sacramento, Santa Barbara, Stanislaus, and Ventura Counties. Each winner will receive $1.5 million.

Gov. Newsom juggles numbered lottery balls in front of the Universal Studios globe and a sign touting the state's "Vax for the win" winners.
Newsom helped draw multiple winners of a $1.5 million prize.
(Alberto E. Rodriguez
/
Getty Images North America)

Newsom cautioned that now is not the time to completely drop your guard.

"This is not a day to spike the football, this is not a day where we'll be announcing 'mission accomplished,'" he said. "Quite the contrary, we're here because of your hard work. We're here because of your resilience. We're here because 40 million Californians met, dare I say, the moment — many moments, different moments — over the course of the last 15 months."

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Lita Martinez and Jackie Fortiér contributed to this report.