Abbigail Bugenske of Silverton near Cincinnati is Ohio’s first million-dollar winner in a series of lotteries intended to encourage more people to get vaccinated against the virus. Joseph Costello of Englewood near Dayton won a full college scholarship in the lottery for people under age 18 who’ve been vaccinated.
Amid dropping vaccine demand in Ohio, Gov. Mike DeWine announced the five weekly drawings of $1 million open to residents who’ve received at least one dose of a vaccine. The scholarship lottery for teenagers offers five full, four-year scholarships to a public university in Ohio — room and board included.
The weekly drawings began Monday, with the announcement of the winners delayed until Wednesday while their vaccine status was confirmed. The money will come from existing federal Coronavirus Relief Funds.
DeWine’s push to boost participation in the state’s immunization program is part of a trend among other states. To reach those who have yet to receive the first dose, officials in other states are offering free tickets to sports games or a free beer and a shot to entice vaccination.
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