Union County man is $1 million Vax-a-Million winner

A Union County man is the $1 million Vax-a-Million winner.

The top prize went to Mark Cline of Richwood, the Ohio Lottery announced Wednesday evening on live television.

Sara Afaneh of Sheffield Lake in Lorain County was announced as the winner of the four-year scholarship.

Gov. Mike DeWine congratulated Cline and Afaneh and reminded Ohioans that there are only two more drawings left.

The state is offering five $1 million prizes and five full college scholarships to Ohioans 12 and older who have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

The vaccine incentive program initially gave vaccine rates a boost, but vaccination rates have dropped with the campaign now more than half over.

More than 3.3 million Ohioans entered their names for a shot at the $1 million prize, slightly up from the 3.2 million registered for last week’s drawing. More than 143,000 youths are entered for the scholarship, up from just over 133,000 last week.

As of Tuesday, nearly 5.4 million people in Ohio have had at least one dose of the vaccine.

Here’s what you should know about the drawings:

What are the prizes?

The Ohio Vax-a-Million campaign will award five $1 million prizes and five full college scholarships to Ohioans 12 and older who have received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine.

Ohioans 18 and older are eligible for a $1 million prize and residents 12 to 17 are eligible for a scholarship.

Scholarships will cover room and board, tuition and books for four years at any Ohio state college, university or technical or trade school. The winners of the scholarships will choose which school they attend. However, winning the scholarship does not guarantee admission to any school.

The state will work with any winners who wish to attend a private Ohio university, Gov. Mike DeWine said previously.

Winners of the million dollar prize will be responsible for paying any related taxes.

When will the winners be announced?

The third round winners of the $1 million prize and college scholarship will be announced today.

Winners will be named at 7:29 p.m. on TV and online at https://ohiovaxamillion.com/prizes-schedule.html.

Additional winners will be announced on June 16 and June 23.

The Ohio Department of Health will use the time between the drawing and naming of the winners to verify that the winners are valid entrants and meet the campaign’s rules. If a winner rejects the prize or is not eligible, the state will select the first alternate and so on until a valid winner is found.

When is the next drawing?

The next drawing is scheduled for Monday, June 14.

The Ohio Lottery is using a random number generator to select winners, which is a computer that randomly picks a winner and alternates for each drawing.

While the public will not be able to watch the drawing, a representative from the Ohio Auditor’s Office will be present.

Prior to each drawing, the state will go through entries to remove duplicates.

Once the computer selects a winning number, it’s entered into the database to reveal the winner. Then the lottery draw staff and representative from the auditor’s office both sign off on the drawing.

The fifth and final drawing is scheduled for Monday, June 21.

For a behind the scenes look at random number generator drawings, view the video from the Ohio Lottery below:

How do you sign up?

To sign up, visit https://ohiovaxamillion.com/index.html and select “Adult Registration” for the $1 million drawing or “12-17 Year Old Registration” for the college scholarship drawing.

Participants also can call the Ohio Department of Health at 1-833-4-ASK-ODH between 9 a.m. and 8 p.m. to register.

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. Participants must be 12 or older.

Entrants do not need to have been vaccinated in Ohio to be eligible, however, ODH will ask for proof of vaccination.

Eligible residents can only enter once. Entries not selected will automatically carry over to the next drawing.

Who has won already?

Ohio announced the winners of the second drawings last Wednesday.

Jonathan Carlyle of Toledo won $1 million and Zoie Vincent from Mayfield Village in Cuyahoga County won the scholarship.

Carlyle plans to use the prize to purchase a home for his family, which includes his 5-month-old son.

“This is so welcome,” he said. “I can’t explain how much pressure this is going to take off.”

Vincent will be a high school senior next year and has already started thinking about college and her future.

“I’m definitely interested in medicine,” she said.

Vincent is considering Ohio State University and Case Western Reserve University for college, but is also looking at other schools.

Joseph Costello, 14, of Englewood, and Abbigail Bugenski, a GE Aviation employee who lives in Hamilton County, won the first round of prizes.

During a press conference with the governor, both winners shared their shock at being selected.

Bugenske, who won $1 million, said she thought it was a prank and Costello said he still hadn’t really processed it yet.

Costello, who won the scholarship, isn’t sure what he wants to study in college, but is considering Miami University or Ohio State University.

Bugenske said she had plans to buy a used car and would donate some of the $1 million prize to charity and also invest it.

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