$1 million, full-ride scholarships; Ohio to start vaccine lottery


COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — Vaccinated kids and adults will have separate lotteries offering them high-dollar incentives to get the COVID-19 shot.

Five adults will win $1 million each over several weeks, while vaccinated kids aged 12 to 17 have the chance at five, four-year scholarships with all-expenses paid to an Ohio state-run university.

Governor Mike DeWine announced on Wednesday that a lottery portal for the scholarships will open on May 18 for young people who have been vaccinated. On May 26 they will announce the first winner of the draw. This will go on for five weeks each Wednesday until the scholarships are distributed.

“The winner will receive a full four-year scholarship to any one of our state universities,” DeWine promised. “This will include tuition, room and board and books. We will do this every Wednesday for five straight Wednesdays, each time randomly selecting one student to receive the full four-years scholarship.”

Adults who have received at least their first dose of the vaccine will be entered into a separate drawing, also scheduled to be announced on May 26.

“This announcement will occur each Wednesday for 5 weeks and the winner each Wednesday will receive $1 million,” said DeWine. A web page will be open for people to sign up for the drawing, sponsored by the Ohio Department of Health.

Money for the lottery comes from federal coronavirus relief funds. The Ohio lottery will conduct the draw. To be eligible to win, you must be at least 18 years of age or older. On the day of the draw, you must be Ohio resident and vaccinated before the drawing.

More details will follow on Thursday.

“I know that some of you now shaking your heads and saying, ‘Mike DeWine, he’s crazy. This million dollar drawing idea of yours is a waste of money.’

“The real waste at this point in the pandemic — when the vaccine is readily available to anyone who wants it — the real waste is a life that was lost now to COVID-19,” said DeWine.

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