Ohio is offering a big financial shot in the arm to entice residents to get vaccinated against COVID-19.
Gov. Mike DeWine announced Wednesday that the Buckeye State will dole out a million bucks each to five lucky people who have received at least one dose of a coronavirus inoculation.
“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,” the Republican tweeted.
“This announcement will occur each Wednesday for five weeks, and the winner each Wednesday will receive one million dollars.”
The names will be drawn by the Ohio Lottery from the publicly available voter registration database, and a separate website where residents will be able to sign up, DeWine said.
Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine said on May 12, 2021, that the drawings will be held for five straight weeks. Jason Whitman/NurPhoto/Shutterstock
To be eligible for the cash — which is being taken out of COVID-19 relief funds — winners will have to be 18 or older and supply proof of vaccination, according to the governor.
DeWine also took to Twitter to address would-be critics who claim the sweepstakes is a waste of money.
“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 wrote.
Kent State University student Regan Raeth of Hudson, Ohio, has her COVID-19 vaccination administered by Kent State nurse Kristen Barath in Kent.AP
Ohio’s program makes vaccination rewards being dangled in front of New Yorkers — like a weekly MetroCard and a two week Citi Bike membership — look like small potatoes.
About 37 percent of Ohio’s population is already fully vaccinated, slightly higher than the nationwide average, according to Our World in Data.
Gov. Mike DeWine gets his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine from Dr. Kevin Sharrett, in Jamestown, Ohio.Ohio Governor’s Office via AP