“A whirlwind,” Abigail Bugenske, 22, said Thursday morning at a press conference. “He has absolutely not been treated yet. I’m still digesting it – and I like to say it feels like it’s happening to a different person. I can not believe it. Bugenske said she plans to donate to charities and then invest most of it.
The winner of a full scholarship was Joseph Costello, eighth student at Englewood, near Dayton. “Very excited,” Costello said as he sat between his parents, Colleen and Rich, at the virtual press conference. Although it is far away, Joseph said he had thought of Ohio State or Miami of Ohio for college.
Bugenske said she received the Modern vaccine as soon as it was eligible, well before the announcement of the lottery. The Costellos said they were already vaccinated and planned to have their children vaccinated by the end of the month, but the announcement of the lottery prompted them to postpone those appointments.
During a scheduled visit to Cleveland, the we President Joe Biden said, “Ohio has a new millionaire! I’m telling you what, who would have destroyed it, a million dollars to get vaccinated? But it works.
Over 2.7 million adults registered for the $ 1 million prize and over 104,000 children ages 12 to 17 participated in the design for the scholarship, which includes tuition, housing and board, and books. Four more million dollar and college scholarship winners will be announced every Wednesday for the next four weeks.
DeWine, a Republican, announced the program on May 12 to increase late vaccination rates.
The Ohio Lottery conducted the first draw on Monday afternoon at its Cleveland raffle studio using a random number generator to choose winners in advance, then confirmed the final winner’s eligibility.
Participants must register to participate by phone or through the Vax-a-Million website. Teens can register themselves, but parents or legal guardians must verify their eligibility. The names of participants who do not win will be carried over from week to week. The deadline for new registrations is just before midnight on Sunday.
“I know some may say, DeWine, you are crazy! Your million dollar drawing idea is a waste of money, ”the governor said when he announced the incentive. But with the vaccine now readily available, the real waste, “is a life lost for Covid-19,” the governor said.
The concept seemed to work, at least at first. The number of Ohio people aged 16 and over who received their first dose jumped 33% the week after the state announced the lottery, according to an Associated Press analysis.
But the same review also found that vaccination rates are still well below the figures for April and March.
More than 5.2 million people in Ohio had at least started the vaccination process as of Monday, or about 45% of the state. About 4.6 million people have finished getting vaccinated, or 39% of the state.
Nationally, more than 165 million Americans have started the immunization process, or nearly 50% of the population. More than 131 million are fully vaccinated, or nearly 40%.
Vax-a-Million is open to permanent residents of Ohio who have received either the single dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine or their first part of both doses Pfizer or Moderna vaccination.
DeWine’s proposal inspired similar vaccine incentive lotteries by Colorado, Maryland, New York state and Oregon.
In Colorado, the Democratic governor Jared Polis said the state will run a weekly lottery for five residents to win $ 1 million to encourage vaccinations. Colorado is setting aside $ 5 million in federal coronavirus relief funds that would have been used for vaccine advertising for five residents to earn $ 1 million each.