A recent study by the UCLA COVID-19 Health and Politics Project showed that people would be more willing to get a COVID-19 vaccine if they received a cash payment between $25 and $100 for doing it. Well one state took that to a whole new level by instead offering people one million dollars to get vaccinated.
It's Ohio and they plan to pick the names of five residents who received the vaccine and give them a mil. They're calling it "Ohio Vax-a-Million" and the money from it comes from existing federal coronavirus relief funds. According to the state's governor, Mike DeWine, the Ohio Lottery will select a winner each Wednesday for five consecutive weeks, starting on May 26. They'll pick from the state's voter registration database.
To be eligible, Ohioans have to be 18 or older and have been vaccinated before the drawing. No word yet on if the winners will be on the hook for taxes.
That's not all though, for anyone ages 12 to 17 there is a way to win big as well. The state will pick five vaccinated teens and give each of them a full-ride scholarship to any public college, plus pay for room-and-board and books. The teens just need to be vaccinated and sign up on an online portal that opens on Tuesday (5/18).
While 4.8 million people in Ohio have gotten at least one shot of a COVID-19 vaccine, there are still seven million who haven't and the hope is that the chance to win a million dollars incentivizes them to get it. Ohio isn't the only state to try something like this - West Virginia is giving residents aged 16 to 35 a $100 savings bond to get vaccinated, New Jersey is offering people over the age of 21 a free beer, Kentucky is giving adults free lottery tickets, and Maine is handing out free hunting or fishing licenses and LL Bean gift cards.
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