NewsLocal NewsHamilton CountyCincinnati


Cincinnatians react to Ohio's $1 million vaccine lottery

Screen Shot 2021-05-12 at 10.47.11 PM.jpg
Posted at 10:50 PM, May 12, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-13 08:38:55-04

CINCINNATI — Ohio Governor Mike DeWine announced Wednesday the state would hold two five-week-long lotteries -- one for adults and one for teens who have received a COVID-19 vaccine.

For teens, DeWine is offering a full ride scholarship that includes tuition, room and board and books, to any college or university in the state of Ohio. For adults who have received at least one shot of a COVID-19 vaccine, the state is awarding five different prizes of $1 million.

"It's awesome that it's happening," said Jesse Lawrence, who has already been fully vaccinated. "It's a little weird that you have to incentivize people."

Both lotteries kick off May 18, with the first winners being announced on May 26. Winners will be announced weekly, with five winners for each category.

For people on the fence about the vaccine, even the possibility of winning $1 million wasn't tantalizing enough.

"Right now, I'm a hard 'no,' said Douglas Waldon. "I'm just kind of one of those guys that's like 'if it's not broke, don't fix it.'"

Then, for those like Tyler Jackson, there can be other factors to consider outside of a monetary reward.

"Money is not something that I'm willing to compensate, take a gamble with, especially being pregnant right now," said Jackson. "I don't know if I'm a hard 'no' but I definitely don't know the research out there."

For those in the middle, sitting on the fence, the money may seem more tempting; For Peyton Allen, it's still not enough to guarantee a change of heart.

"I mean, it would be very unlikely for me to win," said Allen. "But it's also a chance. I think it's very slim for me."

Lawrence, who's trying to convince his own brothers to get vaccinated, said he believes personal connections still hold more value than any prize, but he said he's happy he could be rewarded for getting the shot.

"It'll be very nice that everyone has their own chance to choose and in charge of their own destiny," he said. "Hopefully more people will get vaccinated, but for those of us that are, at least we can be a little bit more free with it."

During his announcement, DeWine promised there would be more specific information about both drawings in the coming days and did not elaborate on specifics.