With many people still on the fence about whether or not they want to trust the vaccine, the Ohio Department of Health decided to take a different approach to encouraging people to get vaccinated. The Vax-a-Million campaign was established to provide people with an extra incentive.
Ohio residents who received either the Pfizer, Moderna, or Johnson & Johnson vaccine will be eligible to receive a variety of different prizes. These include full-tuition scholarships for those under the age of eighteen, and those over eighteen could receive a check for $1 million.
In order to participate, contestants will need to at least be partially vaccinated, having at least been administered the first dose of one of the three vaccines available. All those participating in the lottery will be given a number, and a random number generator will be used to determine the winners of the drawings. In total, there will be five drawings happening weekly, and those who have already registered will be eligible to participate in all of them.
Already, millions of Ohioans have signed up to be a part of the lottery, and with the first winner said to be announced on May 26th, many people are eager to see if their number comes up. When questioned why he chose to take such an expensive route to encourage people to get vaccinated, Governor Mike DeWine had this to say:
“I knew people were going to say, ‘Mike DeWine’s crazy. Mike DeWine has wasted a lot of money,’ but, you know what’s really a waste is if someone gets COVID now when we have a way not to get it.”
In actuality, the money will be coming out of the COVID relief fund and will be taxed before being given to the winner. Although money is a great way to motivate people into getting the vaccine, the fact that this is coming out of the relief fund is a questionable choice to make.
Should we need that in the future—god forbid it—we could be left with a sizable chunk missing from the budget. One can only hope it doesn’t come to that, and that with the use of these vaccines we can leave this turbulent time behind us.