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Health & Science

Ohioans Must Now Sign Up to Be Eligible for $1M Vaccine Lottery

Ohio Vax-a Million
Those who are interested in trying their luck in the Ohio's COVID-19 vaccine lottery can enter their names into the drawing starting Tuesday (May 18).

Vaccinated Ohioans who want to be entered into a $1 million lottery must now opt-in using a website created by the Ohio Lottery.

The Ohio Department of Health announced that the state's million-dollar vaccination sweepstakes is no longer collecting names from the secretary of state's voter registration database. Instead, the drawing will be an opt-in program using the "Ohio Vax-A-Million" website. 

The site, www.OhioVaxAMillion.com, will go live Tuesday (May 18). People must enter their information by Sunday (May 23) for the first drawing.

Stephanie McCloud, Ohio Department of Health director, says this was a better system to handle the logistics of a drawing. 

"Using the opt-in questionnaire will allow ODH to verify the eligibility of vaccinations of participants much more quickly," McCloud said. "In the opt-in, we're asking participants to provide contact information that, for the secretary of state, may be optional for voter registration and they may not have provided it. That could slow down our ability to locate them and obviously we want to move this as quickly as we can." 

The actual drawing will take place Mondays, with winners announced Wednesdays at the same time as regular Ohio lottery live drawings at 7:29 p.m.

In the Monday drawing, a name will be picked using a random number generator computer, along with up to 100 alternate names. The Ohio Department of Health will then verify that person has received the vaccine. If that person has not been vaccinated, the state moves down the list of alternates. 

To qualify, a person must sign up and be vaccinated the Sunday prior to the drawing. For example, for the first drawing May 24, participants must be vaccinated with at least the first dose by 11:59 p.m. May 23.

The state will then announce the official winner of that drawing at 7:29 p.m. Wednesday.  

"Those who enter Vax-A-Million are authorizing ODH to verify their vaccination records, ensuring that they have received the vaccine. They may also be asked to provide vaccination card for verification at the department's discretion," McCloud said. "If your entry is selected, you will be contacted by the information via your registration form." 

That process will be repeated four other times for a total of five drawings.

The same process will be used for people ages 12-17 wanting to participate in the college scholarship drawing.
Copyright 2021 The Statehouse News Bureau. To see more, visit The Statehouse News Bureau.