Ohio’s million dollar “vaccine lottery” is actually encouraging people to get the shot
It doesn’t get more American than vaccine hesitancy and trying to win the lotto. In an attempt to convince hesitant Ohioans to get the vaccine, the state rolled out a $5 million lottery, hoping to bribe citizens to get the jab, and it’s apparently working. Because when public health measures fail in the U.S., capitalism will always, unfortunately, find a way.
NBC News reports that the state saw its highest vaccination day in three weeks on Friday May 14, 2021, which was two days after Ohio Governor Mike DeWine announced that all adults who get the vaccine can enter a lottery for a one-in-five chance of winning a million dollars. Additionally, the lottery announcement saw vaccinations for people aged 30 to 74 increase by six percent after weeks of decline.
“Not only have we achieved our goal of increasing public awareness and interest, but we have slowed what was a consistent decline, and in certain age groups we’re seeing an increase again,” state Health Director Stephanie McCloud said (via NBC News). “This is doing exactly what we intended it to do.”
The program is called, **checks notes**, Vax-A-Million.
Melissa Wervey Arnold, CEO of the Ohio chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, said that the state was struggling to inoculate Ohioans in the “30-74” age bracket, which is hilariously sad because like, that’s all people. So basically Ohio was struggling to vaccinate anybody. Arnold said she’s just happy the lottery campaign is working. Whatever it takes, I guess?
Ohio Governor Mike DeWine first announced the lottery on Twitter on May 12, 2021 and the artwork looks exactly like lotto tickets you’d see at your local liquor store because apparently that’s what it takes to trick Americans. Make them think the vaccine is a lotto scratcher.
To win the lottery, Ohioans 18 and older who have already received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine can enter to win one of five $1 million prizes at ohiovaxamillion.com. Kids who get the shot can enter to win one of five four-year, full-ride scholarships to college in the state.
The first winner will be announced on May 26, 2021, with the following four winners announced the following four Wednesdays.
Ohio is currently under pressure to increase vaccinations across the state as they are planning to lift all COVID-19 restrictions on June 2, 2021. And although the state’s financial incentive is the most “Game Show”-like approach to the COVID-19 pandemic, West Virginia is offering a $100 savings bond to anyone aged 16 to 35 who gets the shot.
So yes, Ohio had to bribe the American public with the delusional chance at becoming a millionaire for them to care about their health and the health of their community. Just get the damn vaccine y’all.