Vaccinated Ohioans can officially start signing up to be part of the $1M lottery which the state is administering in hopes of jumpstarting a lagging vaccination rate.
The state will award five people $1 million dollars during the weekly sweepstakes, beginning with a drawing on May 24 and a winner announced May 26.
Stephanie McCloud, Ohio Department of Health director, said the money comes from federal coronavirus relief funds already approved by the Ohio Controlling Board, a legislative panel, for the purpose of administering the COVID-19 vaccine.
"We knew that we were going to find innovative ways to bring this to Ohio, to bring vaccine education and vaccine uptake to Ohioans. And that was our goal at the time of the controlling board. And we think this meet that goal," McCloud said.
So far, according to the Ohio Department of Health, the state has spent $23 million on vaccine administration cost with $10.5 million of that going towards public outreach and education, such as public service announcements.
The state's vaccination rate has slowed in the last two months and currently lingers at 42% of the population.
People ages 12-17 can also enter the lottery with a different prize. Five winners of those weekly drawings will get a full-ride scholarship to the Ohio public university of their choice.
The website, OhioVaxAMillion.com, is now able to take registrations for the sweepstakes, which is an opt-in lottery. The terms and conditions include entrants allowing the Ohio Department of Health to verify a winner has been vaccinated and gives the state to use the winner's "name and/or likeness worldwide, in perpetuity, for purposes of advertising and trade."