Mike DeWine, Governor of Ohio, personally called out the winners of the lottery to inform them of their luck. Vax-a-Million lottery was an initiative devised to act as an incentive for people to vaccinate themselves during the early times when the vaccines were introduced.
Vax-A-Million Lottery Dolls Out Its $1 million Prizes And Scholarships
It was one of the few initiates which were planned across cities and states. After Ohio’s initiatives were found to be successful, many cities followed suit. California was the most recent city to doll out a similar initiative where there would be ten draws worth $1.5 million.
The initiative in Ohio started on May 12 after their vaccination rates were not better. It still lags when compared to the national overall, but it is believed that the give-aways pulled people towards the vaccine.
Eighth-grader Joseph Costello was offered a full-ride scholarship to an Ohio open university as one of the winners of the scheme in which five vaccinated adults were made millionaires and five vaccinated teenagers were offered scholarships. Costello’s parents were prompted to vaccinate after they learned of the scheme. Their entire family are fully vaccinated, and in a news conference, they declared that they felt delighted with the results after their initial shock.
Abbigail Bugenske thought it was a scam when the Governor had called her personally to tell her she was a millionaire. She said that she did covet the lottery scheme, but when it was announced, she just believed it was a win-win situation if she became a millionaire. When asked what she would do with the million dollars, she hoped to save them by investing but give out most to charity.
She believed that as a student of aerospace engineering at Ohio state university and a worker in GE, she will continue her course of life, which would give her a better future. And no, unlike others, she did not covet a Ferrari. She hoped to live her normal life and even felt she would buy the used car she had been hoping to buy before the winnings were announced. However, it was less than 24 hrs since she came across the news and she might change her mind when she wakes up from the adrenaline dwindles.
When the Governor was interviewed, he was happy that the rollout was a success, as seen by the higher vaccination rates since the announcement. There was a 28% increase in the vaccination rate, especially those of 16 years and older, five days after the announcement was made. However, recently it was seen that there was a 3% drop. Governor insisted that the way forward was vaccination which can help people to move towards normalcy and he hoped people would get vaccinated before June 2 when the health orders are lifted.
The White House was not far behind to congratulate the winners and praise the plan. President Biden applauded the initiative when he appeared in Cleveland on Thursday. Though there were initial doubts about the scheme, He was happy it had worked.
Following the positive results, Ohio announced the deadline for the second drawings. Those who have had at least one dose of the vaccine can register for the lottery until Sunday. The winnings were the same; those above 18 have a chance to win $1 million and teenagers between 12 to 17 could win a four-year scholarship. The week’s winner would be announced Wednesday. There are four more drawings as it is seen that not every Ohioans have entered the lottery.