Coronavirus: Ohio announces first Vax-a-Million winners

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio announced its first Vax-a-Million winners on Wednesday night, with a woman winning the $1 million incentive prize and a Dayton-area teen winning a full-ride college scholarship, state officials said.

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Abbigail Bugenske, of the Cincinnati suburb of Silverton, was picked as the first of five $1 million winners on Wednesday, while Joseph Costello, of Englewood, won a full-ride scholarship to any of Ohio’s state universities, lottery officials said.

The winners, whose names were drawn from more than 1.5 million entrants, were chosen in a random drawing on Monday, WHIO reported. The Ohio Department of Health waited 48 hours to announce the winners of the drawing to verify the eligibility of the winner, the television station reported.

The state’s lottery commission drew a winner and up to 100 alternates using a random number generator, WCMH reported. Those names were then turned over to the Ohio Department of Health to verify their vaccination status. if the first name did not meet the required standards, the next name on the list is checked, the television station reported.

According to the Ohio Lottery and the Ohio Department of Health, 2,758,470 state residents entered the drawing to win $1 million prizes, and 104,386 students ages 12 to 17 entered the drawing for a college scholarship.

>> Coronavirus: Ohio governor announces $1M drawing for vaccinated citizens

“We’re excited that this has inspired so many Ohioans to get vaccinated, and we’re thrilled to announce the winners of the first round of drawings,” Gov. Mike DeWine said in a statement.

The contests are being funded from existing federal coronavirus relief funds, WEWS reported.

Four more Wednesday announcements will be held, WLWT reported.

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