Story at a glance

  • Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine launched a Vax-a-Million lottery in the state on May 12.
  • The lottery, open to residents over the age of 18 who can verify that they have received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine, offers them a chance to win $1 million.
  • With a drawing occurring once a week for five weeks starting on Wednesday, the hope is to incentivize residents to get vaccinated.

On Monday, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine (R) celebrated his state’s Vax-a-Million lottery, an initiative aiming to incentivize residents to get vaccinated against the coronavirus. 

Open to residents over the age of 18 who can verify that they have received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine, the lottery offers the vaccinated a chance of winning $1 million in one of five weekly drawings. More than 2.7 million residents have already registered.

While Ohio’s vaccinated youth cannot enter the lottery, those ages 12 to 17 can register for the chance to win a four-year college scholarship. DeWine said that 104,386 young Ohioans have registered. 


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The prize money is coming from the $2.2 trillion federal CARES Act, and some of DeWine’s fellow Republican lawmakers in the state disapprove of the fund’s allocation.

“The vaccine lottery is a frivolous use of taxpayer dollars. They have the ability to take the vaccine if they want but we shouldn’t be putting $5m of taxpayer money to [it],” State Rep. Jena Powell told 2News of Dayton, adding she would be introducing legislation to end the lottery this week. 

However, since the lottery was announced on May 12, vaccines administered in Ohio surged by 33 percent.

“We’re more than happy with the results,” DeWine said on Monday. “This was just so important to our future as a state, our immediate future and our long-term future. Having more people vaccinated really allows us to get back to normal.”

The lottery’s first drawing is on Wednesday.


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Published on May 25, 2021