Ohio will give away $1 million prizes to five adults, plus another five full-ride public college scholarships to teens who get vaccinated against COVID-19, Gov. Mike DeWine announced on Wednesday during a statewide televised address.

Mike DeWine

Republican Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine talks about Ohio’s coronavirus cases last November. On Wednesday DeWine announced the state would give away $1 million each to five adults who get vaccinated against COVID-19. Andrew Welsh-Huggins/Associated Press

Calling it “Ohio Vax-a-Million,” DeWine said drawings will be held for five consecutive Wednesdays, starting May 26, to pick the $1 million winners. The winners will be pulled from the Ohio Secretary of State’s voter registration database.

The Ohio Lottery will conduct the drawings but the money will come from existing federal coronavirus relief funds.

To be eligible, you must be 18 or older, an Ohio resident and vaccinated before the drawing.

DeWine said 12- to 17-year-olds can sign up for the scholarship drawing via an electronic portal that will open May 18. Drawings will be held for five straight Wednesdays to select one student to receive the scholarship, which will cover tuition, room-and-board and books.

Roughly 4.88 million Ohioans have received at least one shot of an FDA-approved COVID-19 vaccination. But the bulk of them were eager to be vaccinated and they snapped up early appointments to get their shots.

Now public health experts are looking for ways to convince people who are hesitant to get vaccinated against the deadly disease.

West Virginia announced last week that residents ages 16 to 35 would be eligible to receive a $100 savings bond if they get vaccinated. New Jersey announced a “shot and a beer” program for residents 21 and up to get a free beer when they get vaccinated.

The Kentucky Lottery is giving away coupons for a free Cash Ball game ticket to adults who get their first or second vaccine shot at Kroger or Walmart stores.

The state of Maine is offering free hunting or fishing licenses, L.L. Bean gift cards and other prizes to residents who get their shots by Memorial Day.

The U.C.L.A. COVID-19 Health and Politics Project found that people said they’d be more willing to be vaccinated if offered cash payments of $25 to $100.


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