Over 2.7 million Ohioans have registered for Vax-a-Million lottery

WCPO DeWine mask waving.png
Posted at 1:57 PM, May 24, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-24 15:42:34-04

Vaccine levels were up in all age groups and exactly 2,758,470 Ohioans had registered for the state’s Vax-a-Million lottery by Monday afternoon, demonstrating what Gov. Mike DeWine called an encouraging level of buy-in for his experimental COVID-19 vaccine incentive.

“All I know is that, when we announced it, we were going down (in vaccine levels) and we had been going down,” he said, adding later: “We made the decision to try this and see what it would do. I’m more than happy — I’m very, very happy with the results.”

Representatives of the lottery, which is open only to vaccinated people over the age of 18 and will award five $1 million prizes over the course of the next five weeks, will draw their first winner Monday and announce that person’s name on Wednesday.

That name will be removed from the pot; all 2,758,469 others will go back in for the next week’s drawing.

A separate drawing for Ohioans under 18, which will award five full scholarships to Ohio colleges of the recipients’ choosing, will follow the same process. DeWine said 104,386 people had entered that contest by Monday afternoon.

According to data collected by the Ohio Department of Health, vaccination has increased 94% among people ages 16 and 17 — the largest demographic increase in Ohio since the lottery’s announcement. The number of Ohioans 20-49 getting the shot has increased by a smaller but still sizable 55%.

ODH reported 566 new cases of COVID-19 on Monday, marking the state’s lowest number of new diagnoses since June 21, 2020.

Eighty-eight people were admitted to Ohio hospitals and eight were newly admitted to intensive care units. ODH recorded no COVID-19-related deaths between Sunday and Monday.