22-Year-Old Woman Wins Ohio’s $1 Million Vaccine Lottery
By Hannah Bleau | Breitbart.com
Abbigail Bugenske, 22, is the first person to win Ohio’s $1 million Vax-a-Million lottery — the state’s incentive to encourage Ohioans to get vaccinated.
Gov. Mike DeWine (R-OH) announced the program earlier this month, offering $1 million prizes and full-ride scholarships to individuals who get vaccinated. In order to qualify for the drawings, an individual must have had at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine.
Each Wednesday, beginning May 26, they will choose a winner of the $1 million prize. The state is also providing a “five full four-year scholarships to an Ohio public university — including tuition, room-and-board, and books — to vaccinated Ohioans under 18,” according to the Associated Press (AP). The drawings are expected to span five weeks.
“I know that some may say, ‘DeWine, you’re crazy! This million-dollar drawing idea of yours is a waste of money,’” the governor said, adding that the real waste is a “life lost to COVID-19 [Chinese coronavirus].”
Bugenske found out she won the $1 million prize this week and was in disbelief when she heard the news.
“I thought it was a prank call initially,” she said in a Thursday interview.
“I was screaming enough that my parents thought that I was crying and that something was wrong,” she continued. “I started yelling that I won a million dollars and I was going to be a millionaire.”
“I would encourage anyone to get the vaccine,” she said, although she received her vaccine before the governor announced the vaccine lottery. “If winning a million dollars isn’t incentive enough, I don’t really know what would be.”
According to the New York Times, over 2.7 million Ohioans have entered the lottery. One 14-year-old boy, Joseph Costello, “won the first scholarship out of more than 104,000 entries.”
Ohio is not the only state offering financial incentives to encourage widespread vaccinations. This week, California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) announced the state will spend over $116 million, offering prizes and incentives to encourage Golden State residents to get vaccinated. Perks include gift cards and cash prizes.