News & Politics

West Virginia Is Paying People to Move to the State to Remote-Work—and More Than 7,000 Have Applied for the Lottery

Right now the lottery's only for Morgantown, but it's expanding to two other cities soon.

View of Cheat River Canyon and Cheat Lake, near Morgantown. Photograph by BackyardProduction , via iStock.

West Virginia’s plan to attract remote workers by offering them a $12,000 subsidy to move to Morgantown has attracted more than 7,000 applications, the state says. Fifty people will be chosen for the program, called Ascend West Virginia, which also grants workers free coworking space and a year of free admission to natural attractions like New River Gorge Park and Preserve. The top 5 states that applicants hail from are Pennsylvania, Florida, California, Virginia, and Texas, and West Virginia says it’s received applications from every state and from 71 countries.

The deal isn’t for a lump sum. If accepted, you’ll receive $10,000 in monthly payments over your first year after you spend a month in Morgantown; the balance will accrue to you after you’ve been there for two years. Applications close next week for Morgantown, but West Virginia will soon run the same program for Shepherdstown and Lewisburg. It expects to open applications for those localities over the summer.

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Andrew Beaujon joined Washingtonian in late 2014. He was previously with the Poynter Institute,, and Washington City Paper. He lives in Del Ray.