The Ohio Lottery continues to be used by the state government to try and convince residents into receiving vaccinations against COVID-19.
Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine (R) last month announced a college scholarship program eligible to those aged 12-25 who receive coronavirus vaccines. The governor initially declared that those entered into the lottery could win one of five $100,000 prizes, or one of 50 $10,000 awards. The money is to be used for education tuition.
Yesterday, I announced a new program to encourage vaccination among youth & young adults. Ohioans ages 12 to 25 will be eligible for 50 $10,000 scholarships and five $100,000 scholarships to an Ohio college or university or for career or technical education. More details to come. pic.twitter.com/4FXF4Z4lHP
— Governor Mike DeWine (@GovMikeDeWine) September 24, 2021
Today, DeWine revealed the expansion of the vax initiative. The lottery drive budget has doubled to $2 million, the increase coming as a result of the number of $10,000 scholarship allotments jumping from 50 to 150.
Friday’s announcement also extends eligibility to children aged five and up. State health approval for vaccinating such young people is expected later this month.
“This is the time for younger Ohioans to get the facts, and to make the choice to get the COVID-19 vaccine to help protect themselves and others,” declared Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff, chief medical officer of the Ohio Department of Health.
Shot for a Shot
In May, DeWine announced that the state would raffle off five $1 million scholarship prizes through the Ohio Lottery. For a chance at one of the seven-digit wins, a person must have received at least one dose of a state-approved COVID-19 vaccine.
Despite Ohio already raffling off the five $1 million vaccination prizes through the lottery earlier this year, DeWine believes further chances at winning a large financial reward will incentivize some who remain vaccine-hesitant.
As of the end of September, 56.1 percent of the entire US population is said to be fully vaccinated. That rate is substantially lower in Ohio, where 50.2 percent of all people have been declared inoculated.
Numerous states have utilized their lotteries to encourage residents to get vaxxed. Along with Ohio, Alabama, California, Colorado, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oregon, Washington, and West Virginia have each used their lotteries to spur vaccination.
The vaxx-resistant crowd has voiced their displeasure with states using their lotteries to persuade people into vaccination.
The bribes make us even more concerned,” wrote one Twitter user to DeWine’s post sharing the vax lottery program. “Are you a doctor?” asked another to DeWine. “Because our pediatrician says it is ludicrous to vaccinate kids under 18.”
DeWine is not a medical doctor. The governor’s political career began soon after he received his Juris Doctor law degree from Ohio Northern University in the 1970s.
How to Enter
The Ohio Lottery vaccination promotion is an opt-in draw, meaning steps are necessary to submit one’s candidacy. Beginning Monday, October 4, Ohioans can visit OhioVAX4School.com to enter their names into the drawings.
The Ohio Lottery hasn’t detailed when the draws will begin. Winners must prove they are vaccinated.
The $10,000 and $100,000 awards are good at any Ohio college, university, technical/trade school, or furthering education program.
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