More Ohioans get vaccinated, enter 2nd Vax-a-Million drawing

Entry deadline is 11:59 p.m. today for next chance at $1M and college scholarship.

Vaccination rates are still ticking up following the announcement of the Ohio Vax-a-Million lottery open to Ohioans 12 and older who are vaccinated against the novel coronavirus.

The second-round winners of the Vax-a-Million campaign will be announced Wednesday on live television. The Ohio Lottery is conducting weekly drawings on five consecutive Wednesdays for a $1 million prize for adults or a four-year full-ride college scholarship for youths 12 to 17 who have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

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Vaccination rates increased both weeks after Gov. Mike DeWine announced the lottery, compared to the week before the announcement, according to Ohio Department of Health data.

Analysis of vaccination data from the two weeks that followed the May 12 lottery announcement shows a weekly average increase of 77%, or an average of more than 68,600 shots a week, the ODH said.

The weekly breakdown shows:

  • Week 1: 106% increase, or 94,657 more shots
  • Week 2: 48% increase, or 42,677 more shots

“Ohio’s Vax-a-Million drawing was designed to bring attention and excitement to vaccination efforts around the state,” Health Director Stephanie McCloud stated in a release. “This data showing significant increases in vaccination numbers during the two weeks since the contest was announced demonstrates it is working.

“Vaccines are our best tool to return to the lives we remember from before the pandemic,” McCloud said.

The first-round winners were Joseph Costello, 14, of Englewood, who won a scholarship, and Abbigail Bugenski, a GE Aviation employee who lives in Hamilton County, who won the $1 million prize.

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The winners of the next drawings will be announced over the next four consecutive Wednesdays through June 23.

Ohio is using federal CARES Act money to fund the cash and scholarship prizes.

Since Ohio announced its lottery, several other states also began similar campaigns, including Colorado and California, which will award $1.5 million prizes.

More than 5.2 million Ohioans have started the vaccination process, but not all who are eligible have entered the drawings. Ohioans must sign up for the drawings at or by calling the Ohio Department of Health at 1-833-4-ASK-ODH between 9 a.m. and 8 p.m.

In the first round, 2.76 million Ohioans were entered in the $1 million drawing, and more than 104,300 youths opted into the drawing for a scholarship to any Ohio state university. All entrants who do not win are automatically included in subsequent drawings, and all duplicate entries are removed.

To get a coronavirus vaccine, visit to find a location near you. Many vaccine providers are accepting walk-ins and no longer require an appointment.

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To be eligible to win, entrants must be a permanent Ohio resident and U.S. citizen with who has received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine the Sunday prior to the drawing date.

The next drawing is scheduled for Memorial Day. The entry period for the next drawing ends at 11:59 p.m. today.

The Ohio Lottery is using a random number generator to select a winner and alternates for each drawing. The public isn’t able to view the drawings, done by but a representative from the Ohio Auditor’s Office will be present.

The final three drawings are scheduled for June 7, June 14 and June 21.

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