Ohio announces first $1M Vax-a-Million lottery winner

“We are pleased that this has inspired so many Ohioans to get vaccinated, and we are excited to announce the first round winners,” said Governor Mike DeWine.

More than 2.7 million adults have signed up for the $ 1 million award, and more than 104,000 children ages 12-17 have signed up for the college scholarship. Four more $ 1 million and college scholarship winners will be announced every Wednesday for the next four weeks.

DeWine, a Republican, announced the program on May 12th Delay in vaccination rates. More than 2.7 million adults have signed up for the cash prize, and more than 100,000 children ages 12 to 17 have signed up for the scholarship, which includes tuition, room and board, and books.

Four more $ 1 million winners and a college scholarship will be announced every Wednesday for the next four weeks.

The Ohio Lottery ran the first drawing on Monday afternoon at their Cleveland drawing studio using a random number generator to pre-select winners and then confirmed the eligibility of the final winner.

Participants must register to participate by phone or via the Vax-a-Million website. Young people can register, but parents or guardians must check their eligibility. The names of those contestants who do not win will be announced week after week. The deadline for new registrations ends on Sunday shortly before midnight.

“I know some might say,” DeWine, you are crazy! Your multi-million dollar drawing idea is a waste of money, ”said the governor when he announced the incentive. But with the vaccine now readily available, the real waste is “a life lost to Covid-19,” the governor said.

The concept seemed to work, at least initially. The number of people in Ohio aged 16 and over who received their first Covid-19 vaccine rose 33% in the week following the announcement of the million dollar incentive lottery. according to an analysis by the Associated Press.

However, the same review also found that vaccination rates are still well below the levels seen in early April and March.

More than 5.2 million people in Ohio had started the vaccination process by at least Monday, which is about 45% of the state. About 4.6 million people are vaccinated, which is 39% of the state. Nationwide, more than 165 million Americans have started the vaccination process, which is roughly 50% of the population. More than 131 million are fully vaccinated, or nearly 40%.

Vax-a-million is open to permanent residents of Ohio who received either the Johnson & Johnson vaccine in one dose or their first part of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine in two doses.

DeWine’s proposal inspired similar lotteries with vaccine incentives in Colorado, Maryland, New York State and Oregon.

In Colorado, Democratic Governor Jared Polis says the state will hold a weekly lottery for five residents to win $ 1 million on Tuesday to incentivize Covid-19 vaccinations. Colorado is providing $ 5 million in federal coronavirus aid that would have been used to advertise vaccines to five residents for $ 1 million each.

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