More cities and states across the country have announced incentives of various kinds to get people vaccinated. For example, New Jersey recently announced people who got vaccinated could get a free beer.
Ohio is now taking things up a notch with — and yes, this is real — a million-dollar lottery.
Governor Mike DeWine emphasized the importance of getting vaccinated, especially getting children vaccinated, in an address Wednesday. He said it’s “time to end the health orders” people have been following for the past year, as more and more people get the covid-19 vaccine.
“Vaccination is clearly safer, regardless of age, than running the risk of getting covid,” he said.
DeWine called on businesses to offer incentives for people to get the vaccine, and then announced incentives being offered by the state.
People 12 to 17 who get the vaccine will be eligible for a lottery to receive a full four-year scholarship to a state university, “including tuition, room and board, and books,” the governor announced.
But that was nothing compared to the other incentive DeWine announced: a million-dollar lottery.
Adults who have gotten at least their first dose of the vaccine will be eligible, and winners will be selected once a week for five weeks.
“The money will come from existing federal coronavirus relief funds,” DeWine said.
And if you’re thinking “wait, what?!”, DeWine explained the decision thusly:
“I know that some of you are shaking your head and saying, ‘That Mike DeWine, he’s crazy. This million-dollar drawing idea of yours is a waste of money.’ But truly, the real waste at this point in the pandemic, when the vaccine is readily available to anyone who wants it, the real waste is a life that is lost now to covid-19.”