Ohio's First $1M Vaccine Lottery Winner Announced

May 26, 2021

After drawing the name two days ago, Ohio has announced the $1 million winner of the state's first vaccine lottery.

UPDATE: Abbigail Bugenske from Silverton in Hamilton County is the first winner of the million-dollar sweepstakes. The winner of the full-ride scholarship is Joseph Costello from Englewood in Montgomery County. Their names were drawn on Monday, but announced live on TV just before 7:30pm Wednesday.

Gov. Mike DeWine tweeted out that he dropped by to see the eighth grader from the Dayton area to congratulate his family in person. Those

In the two weeks since announcing the vaccine lottery, 261,742 more people have received the COVID-19 shot. That's a 26% increase in vaccinations compared to the two weeks leading up to the announcement. And more than 2.7 million people have entered their names into the drawing.

DeWine says he wanted the "Ohio Vax-A-Million" lottery to create new incentive for people to get the vaccine, and that it's surpassed his expectations.

Meanwhile, there's a push to stop the lottery through a bill in the Ohio House and a lawsuit filed in the Ohio Supreme Court by an anti-vaccination group.

But the sweepstakes is set to continue for the next four weeks. Those who have entered the contest already are eligible for those future drawings.