Ohio to name 5th Vax-a-Million winners as vaccinations stall

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COLUMBUS, Ohio — The state prepared to announce the fifth and final pair of Ohio Vax-a-Million winners Wednesday evening as Ohio tries to reach the 50% mark for vaccinations statewide.

More than 3.5 million Ohioans entered their names for a shot at the $1 million, up a little from the 3.4 million who had registered for last week’s drawing. About 155,000 children age 12-17 entered their names for the scholarship, an increase of about 4,700 from the previous week.

The state will name the winners at the end of the Ohio Lottery’s Cash Explosion TV show.

Republican Gov. Mike DeWine’s May 12 announcement of the incentive program had the desired effect, leading to a 43% boost in state vaccination numbers over the previous week. But numbers of vaccinations have dropped since then.

About 5.5 million people in Ohio have received at least one shot of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines or the Johnson and Johnson vaccine, or about 47% of the population. About 5 million people, or 43% of the population, have completed the process.

Last week, DeWine held a news conference at Thomas Worthington High School in suburban Columbus along with students and coaches urging middle and high school children who play sports to get vaccinated.

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