Winners announced in Ohio's first Vax-a-Million drawing

People walk past a sign May 25 displayed for Ohio’s COVID-19 mass vaccination clinic at Cleveland State University in Cleveland. Nearly 2.8 million residents have registered for Ohio’s Vax-a Million vaccination incentive program with participants hop

His parents, Colleen and Rich, were informed first by phone.

The mechanical engineer was driving to her family's home in suburban Cleveland when she took a call about the good news from state Governor Mike DeWine.

Vax-a-Million is open to permanent OH residents who have received either the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine or their first part of the two-dose Pfizer or Moderna vaccination.

A few minutes later she was in her parents' house screaming.

She described the hours since she learned she won the $1 million prize as a "whirlwind".

"It absolutely has not processed yet". "Just hearing the numbers of how many people signed up just because of this Vax-A-Million idea, it's clearly working, and I think that's great". "I can not believe it".

She graduated with an undergraduate degree in mechanical engineering from Michigan State just a year ago.

"I know that some may say, 'DeWine, you're insane!"

A chance to win a $1 million prize has helped boost Ohio's Covid-19 vaccination rate by 45%, Gov. Mike DeWine said Wednesday. But with the vaccine now readily available, the real waste, "is a life lost to Covid-19", the governor said.

But uptake still varies by county: In Allen County, vaccinations increased by 68% during the first week of Vax-A-Million, while Auglaize County saw an 83% uptick and Putnam County saw 51% more immunizations.

About 5.2 million Ohioans, or 44.74% of the state, have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, and 39.19% are fully vaccinated.

At first she thought it was a recording, then realised it was the Governor himself.

"I would encourage anyone to get the vaccine", Bugenske said.

More than 2.7 million adults registered for the money prize and more than 100,000 children ages 12 to 17 entered for the scholarship, which includes tuition, room and board, and books.

Meanwhile, Joseph Costello, of Englewood near Dayton, was announced Wednesday as the first victor of the full-ride college scholarship to entrants under the age of 18.

The concept seemed to work, at least initially.

The state announced the victor Wednesday night.

But the same review also found vaccination rates were still well below figures from earlier in April and March.

More than 5.2 million people in OH - or about 45 percent of the state - had at least started the vaccination process as of Monday.

Whether your state has a vaccine lottery or not, it's a great idea to get vaccinated as soon as possible.

Nationally, more than 165 million Americans have started the vaccination process - nearly half of the entire population.

NY state is offering free scratch lottery tickets that normally cost $US20 ($26) to people at state-run vaccination sites on specific days.

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