Ohio's Vax-a-Million lottery boosts Covid-19 vaccination rate, governor says

A chance to win a $1 million prize has helped boost Ohio's Covid-19 vaccination rate by 45%, Gov. Mike DeWine said Wednesday.

By Melissa Alonso and Ray Sanchez, CNN

(CNN) -- A chance to win a $1 million prize has helped boost Ohio's Covid-19 vaccination rate by 45%, Gov. Mike DeWine said Wednesday.

The jump came after Dewine's May 13 announcement of special lotteries offering millions of dollars in giveaways to adults -- and full scholarships to younger Ohioans who get vaccinated.

Across the country, governments, employers, sports teams and others have sought to motivate a hesitant public to get vaccinated with incentives ranging from gift cards to bonuses or free rides to vaccination sites.

Asked if the initiative was a waste of funds, DeWine responded: "The true waste at this point in the pandemic is for someone to die from Covid."

Ohio's Vax-a-Million lottery has increased vaccination rates and some residents have actually "moved up" scheduled appointments to participate in the lottery, the governor said.

The winners of five Ohio lotteries will each win $1 million if they're vaccinated, DeWine said earlier this month.

To qualify for the drawings, Ohioans must be at least 18 years old. For 12- to 17-year-olds, separate drawings will be held, with prizes of a full-ride college scholarship, DeWine said.

The lottery has led to a 94% increase in vaccinations among those aged 16 and 17, DeWine told CNN.

The first lottery winners have been selected and will be announced Wednesday evening, said DeWine.

New York and Maryland have also announced lotteries offering a chance to win money for people who get vaccinated.

President Joe Biden has set a goal of having 70% of Americans with at least one dose of Covid-19 vaccine by July 4.

The-CNN-Wire™ & © 2018 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.

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