Ohio gives people chance to win US$1 million in COVID-19 vaccine lottery

Person vaccinated in Ohio
Person vaccinated in Ohio Photo credit: Getty Images

Five vaccinated people in Ohio will have the chance to win US$1 million each in a new COVID-19 vaccine lottery announced on May 12. 

ABC News reported the lottery is one of the largest incentives announced by Ohio to combat the decreasing demand for the COVID-19 vaccine. 

To enter the lottery, you must be a resident of Ohio and be at least 18 years of age. 

However, Ohioans who are not 18-years of age and who have received the vaccine for the virus will be given the chance to enter a weekly lottery that will put them in the draw to receive a university scholarship. 

The FDA authorised the Pfizer vaccine for those aged 12-15 on May 10. 

Five lucky winners will have a full four-year scholarship to a university in the state which includes tuition, room-and-board and books. 

Governor Mike DeWine announced both of the incentives and said the weekly lottery will start on May 26 and last for five weeks. 

"I know that some may say, 'DeWine, you're crazy! This million-dollar drawing idea of yours is a waste of money,'" the governor stated during an address. 

"But truly, the real waste at this point in the pandemic -- when the vaccine is readily available to anyone who wants it - is a life lost to COVID-19. 

This date will draw names from the Ohio secretary of state's publicly available voter registration database. 

DeWine added that the drawings will be conducted by the Ohio Lottery with money coming from existing federal COVID-19 relief funds. 

For the people aged 17 and under, students can sign up on an online portal starting from May 18. 

US experts say these incentives could be the "carrot" people need to get vaccinated as vaccine demand has decreased from an average of over 3 million daily doses administered a month ago to now under 2 million, according to CDC data. 

The state's announcement comes before Ohio planned to end all COVID-19 health orders in early June. This includes mask and social distancing requirements and capacity restrictions in everything but nursing homes and assisted living facilities.