OHIO — Ohio held its first “Vax-a-Million” drawing on Wednesday.
Officials began drawing names Monday for one of five $1 million prizes or full-ride scholarships.
The first Vax-a-Million $1 million winner was Abbigail Bugenske of Silverton, and the first college scholarship winner was Joseph Costello of Englewood.
Congrats, Joseph! You just won a full-ride college scholarship! If you’re between 12 and 17 years-old and had at least one dose of the vaccine, you could be next! Sign up at https://t.co/ZmJ8iKoSlV! pic.twitter.com/StHlWewhW5— Mike DeWine (@MikeDeWine) May 27, 2021
According to the lottery broadcast, 2,758,470 people entered the $1 million lottery, while 104,386 juveniles entered a chance to win a full-ride college scholarship to any Ohio public university.
In order to have entered, participants must be an Ohio resident and received either the Johnson & Johnson vaccine or at the least the first dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine. Residents must have been 18 or older to enter the lottery for one of five $1 million prizes, and those who entered for full-ride scholarships had to be between 12- to 17-years-old.
If someone is found to not have gotten the vaccine but falsified the information in the drawing, the participant will be disqualified and another winner will be picked.
More than 1 million residents have entered the lottery since it was announced last week. Winners will be announced on Wednesdays at approximately 7:29 p.m. through June 23. Participants only had to enter their information once to be eligible for all five drawings.
Individuals can still register for a chance to win one of the next four prizes by clicking here or calling 1-833-4-ASK-ODH (1-833-427-5634).
The lottery is a public outreach campaign by the Ohio Department of Health to get residents vaccinated.
Since the lottery announcement nearly two weeks ago, vaccinations are up more than 63%. More than 261,000 first-dose shots were distributed between May 13 to 24, which is an increase from the 160,000 jabs the week before, according to state data.
The Vax-a-Million drawing drew praise from the Biden administration on Tuesday. The administration is encouraging other states to implement similar incentives to get people vaccinated.