On Wednesday, Ohio’s first vaccinated residents hit the state’s “Vax-a-Million” lottery jackpot.
Abbigail Bugenske of southwest Ohio took home $ 1 million after entering the raffle with more than 2.7 million other vaccinated Ohioans.
Four more draws will take place over the next month as more residents get vaccinated.
Joseph Costello, a teenager from the Dayton area, also won the first full scholarship to a college in the state of Ohio as part of the lottery for 12 to 17 year olds who were vaccinated. Four more scholarships will be awarded in the coming weeks.
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“We are delighted that this inspired so many people in Ohio to get vaccinated, and we are delighted to announce the winners of the first series of drawings,” Governor Mike DeWine said Wednesday.
Health officials across the country have come up with creative ways to encourage the reluctant – including handouts of cash, free beer, and donuts – but Ohio was the first state to implement. places prices in the seven digits.
Several other states have followed suit, including Colorado, New York, Oregon and Maryland.
Colorado Governor Jared Polis has announced a similar Ohio lottery with five million dollar prizes. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has announced that anyone who gets vaccinated will receive a free $ 20 bonus with a grand prize of up to $ 5 million.
Ohio’s plan appears to be working as the number of residents who received their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine jumped 33% in the week after the lottery was announced, according to an Associated Press analysis state data.
About 5.2 million Ohioans, or 44.74% of the state, have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and 39.19% are fully vaccinated.
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Nationwide, more than 165 million Americans have received at least one dose, or nearly 50% of the population.
President Joe Biden has set a goal of vaccinating 70% of Americans by July 4. Pennsylvania became the nation’s 10th state to reach that threshold on Wednesday, along with Vermont, Hawaii, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Maine, New Jersey and New Mexico. and Pennsylvania.
10 other states are above 65%, according to senior White House adviser Andy Slavitt.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.