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Ohio Tweaks Its $1M Vaccine Lottery Rules Slightly

Residents must opt-in to be entered to win
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted May 17, 2021 4:45 PM CDT

(Newser)

With the first drawing for Ohio’s Vax-a-Million lottery system scheduled for May 26, state officials announced a change to the process Monday that will require participants to opt-in. The lottery system unveiled by Republican Gov. Mike DeWine last week will begin next Wednesday and last five weeks, offering a $1 million prize or a full-ride scholarship to a four-year university in the state to a resident each week. Ohio had planned to use state voter registration in addition to an opt-in program to enroll every resident into the drawing but changed it Monday to opt-in only, state Health Director Stephanie McCloud said during a briefing. The change, McCloud said, is an effort to streamline verification and eligibility requirements and allow Ohio residents who don’t want to participate to opt out, per the AP.

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Beginning Tuesday at 8am ET, Ohio residents can enter into the lottery system by filling out a questionnaire at Ohiovaxamillion.com or by calling the Ohio Department of Health hotline at 1-833-4-ASK-ODH. Permanent Ohio residents who are 18 years and older and have received at least one dose of the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine or the one-shot Johnson&Johnson vaccine by the Sunday before the weekly Wednesday drawing are eligible to enter the lottery. The state determines permanent residency using the same requirements that it uses for issuing an Ohio driver’s license or eligibility to vote. Permanent Ohio residents who are between 12 and 17 years of age and have received at least one dose are eligible to enter the scholarship lottery.

(Read more Ohio stories.)

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