Ohio Governor Mike DeWine announced on Wednesday that a vaccination lottery drawing will be held in his state on May 26 in an effort to boost COVID-19 vaccinations.
The new program, scheduled to be held for five weeks, will give vaccinated individuals in Ohio the chance to win either $1 million or a full college scholarship.
One of the two weekly lotteries will be for those aged 12 to 17. A total of five winners will receive full, four-year scholarships to any Ohio state college. The government will also cover expenses such as housing and books.
“Getting our 12- to 17-year-olds vaccinated is so important that we will have a separate incentive for them,” DeWine wrote on Twitter. “On May 18th, an electronic portal will be opened up for young people who have been vaccinated to be able to register.”
For the adult category, DeWine said residents of Ohio 18 years and above can register provided that they have received at least one dose of any COVID-19 vaccine. Each week, the state will award $1 million to one person.
On Wednesday, May 26th, we will announce the winner of a drawing of all those 17 years old and under who have been vaccinated, and the winner will receive a full, four-year scholarship to our State of Ohio universities. This will include tuition, room and board, and books.
— Governor Mike DeWine (@GovMikeDeWine) May 12, 2021
Ohio Vaccine Distribution Statistics
Ohio has so far administered 9.12 million doses of vaccine, comprising 40.4 percent of the state’s population, according to Bloomberg. The percentage is slightly below the national average, which stands at 41 percent.
The states of New York, Colorado, New Mexico, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire have already vaccinated more than 45 percent of their populations.
“I know that some may say, ‘DeWine, you’re crazy! This million-dollar drawing idea of yours is a waste of money.’ But truly, the real waste at this point in the pandemic –– when the vaccine is readily available to anyone who wants it –– is a life lost to COVID-19,” DeWine explained.
Last month, several Ohio universities opened their vaccination clinics for students and personnel ahead of the return of in-person classes in the fall.
People Weigh in on DeWine’s Idea
Twitter user Cynthia Flynn expressed her support for DeWine, saying that the state must do everything to ensure that everyone is protected from the virus.
However, some people believe that the initiative is a waste of taxpayer money. “Please stop wasting tax dollars! If money is available, give it to Ohio’s food banks, or other agencies serving the public good. A million dollar ‘lottery’ is a terrible idea,” a Twitter user Junyuh wrote.
Carrie L. Webb also took to social media, describing the program as a form of “bribery” to get people vaccinated.