Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine Announces COVID Vaccinated Residents Are Eligible to Win $1 Million 

The governor is also incentivizing 12 to 17-year-olds with the opportunity to win a scholarship to a four-year Ohio college or university

Mike DeWine
Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine. Photo: Kirk Irwin/Getty Images

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine announced a major incentive for state residents who get their COVID-19 vaccination.

The Republican governor revealed on Wednesday that people who get at least one shot of the COVID-19 vaccine will automatically be entered in a lottery to win $1 million.

"Two weeks from tonight on May 26th, we will announce a winner of a separate drawing for adults who have received at least their first dose of the vaccine. This announcement will occur each Wednesday for five weeks, and the winner each Wednesday will receive one million dollars," he wrote on Twitter.

getting vaccinated
A person getting vaccinated. getty

In the same thread, the governor revealed that the names drawn in the lottery will be pulled from "the Ohio Secretary of State's publicly available voter registration database," but if one is not registered to vote then they can sign up for the lottery on a website. The website will be shared in coming days.

"To be eligible to win, you must be at least 18 years of age or older on the day of the drawing. You must be an Ohio resident. And, you must be vaccinated before the drawing," DeWine said.

DeWine acknowledged possible critics of the monetary incentive by informing residents the millions given away are "from existing federal Coronavirus Relief Funds."

"I know that some may say, 'DeWine, you're crazy! This million-dollar drawing idea of yours is a waste of money.' 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," he said.

Listen below to the episode of our daily podcast PEOPLE Every Day for more on Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine's incentive to get Ohio residents vaccinated.

DeWine also announced an incentive for residents between the ages of 12 and 17 that are eligible for the vaccine.

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"On May 18th, an electronic portal will be opened up for young people who have been vaccinated to be able to register. We will do this every Wednesday, for five straight Wednesdays — each time randomly selecting one student to receive the full, four-year scholarship," he wrote in another thread.

The scholarship is for "any of Ohio's state colleges and universities, including full tuition, room, and board," he announced.

DeWine also revealed he's contacted "businesses across Ohio to reach out and offer incentives to get more people vaccinated."

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