Ohio Adults Who Get Vaccinated Could Win $1M

Ohio Vax-a-Million is a series of five $1M lotteries for those who are vaccinated
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted May 13, 2021 12:16 AM CDT
Updated May 13, 2021 2:00 AM CDT
Ohio Launches $1M Lottery for Vaccinated Adults
Sterling Heights firefighter Ashley Brouwer, who started her job in March 2021, prepares a syringe of Moderna vaccine at a distribution location in Sterling Heights, Mich., Wednesday, April 28, 2021.   (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

About 36% of Ohio's population is fully vaccinated for COVID-19, and authorities want that percentage to be higher—so they're launching the Ohio Vax-a-Million, a series of five $1 million lotteries open only to adults who've received at least one vaccine dose. As for vaccinated teens in the state, five full-ride scholarships to public colleges will be up for grabs for them, the Columbus Dispatch reports. Gov. Mike DeWine announced the details Wednesday in a televised address, then again on Twitter; he also said most coronavirus public health orders will end in the state June 2. As for the lottery, the first drawing will be held May 26, and then the next four Wednesdays after that. He also explained that the money is coming from "existing federal Coronavirus Relief Funds."

That disclosure had some people scratching their heads in the replies section. "So there’s an expendable $5,000,000 from the Covid Relief Fund and you thought (while people are still out of work and countless businesses are permanently closed) the best idea was to give it away to five people?" reads one reply. Others, though, were calling the idea "brilliant." The New York Times theorizes that the move could raise legal questions, but no one from the Treasury Department or the White House responded to a request for comment from the paper. As the Dispatch explains, most of the 4.88 million Ohioans who've gotten at least one dose got their shots right away, and the state is working to get the stragglers on board. NBC News reports that of all the vaccine incentives states have offered up so far, this is the biggest. (Read more coronavirus vaccine stories.)

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