As an incentive for residents to get vaccinated, Gov. Mike Dewine has announced that Ohioans who get the Covid-19 vaccine are eligible to win a million dollars or a college scholarship. If that won’t encourage people to get vaccinated, then nothing will!
The Ohio Vax-a-Million drawing is sponsored by the state Department of Health and conducted by the Ohio Lottery. Residents who have received their first dose of the Pfizer or Moderna Covid-19 vaccine or the single dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine must register on ohiovaxamillion.com or call the phone line to be entered into the five drawings for a million dollars. The phone line is open between nine o’clock in the morning to eight o’clock at night. The website has over 25 million views and more than 60,000 people have called the phone line. Around one million Ohio residents have entered the lottery.
In addition, vaccinated children between the ages of 12 and 17 are eligible to enter to win a full ride scholarship to an Ohio university, including room, board and books.
The first million dollar winner will be announced on May 26, along with the first scholarship winner. There will be two separate drawings each week until June 23. Vaccination cards must be shown as proof and winners are required to sign a waiver stating that they cannot remain anonymous.
In response to critics calling Ohio Vax-a-Million crazy and a waste of money, Dewine claims that vaccinations are important and that the lottery idea is worth it in the end in order to keep people safe.
But truly, the real waste at this point in the pandemic–when the vaccine is readily available to anyone who wants it–is a life lost to Covid-19.
According to the state Department of Health, almost five million Ohioans are fully vaccinated, which is about 36 percent of people. 42 percent have received at least one dose of the vaccine.
The drawing has now closed as of Sunday May 23 at 11:59 p.m.