Vax-A-Million: Registrations now open on state’s website for Ohioans to opt-in

Eligible Ohioans who wish to opt-in to the state’s Vax-A-Million lottery can now register on the state’s website that went live Tuesday morning.

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Ohioans who want to participate must opt-in by entering on the or 1-833-4-ASK-ODH.

“This will be an opt-in program only,” Ohio Department of Health Director Stephanie McCloud said during a news conference Monday, when more details about the program were announced. The opt-in portion of the lottery is a change from when the program was first announced.

As long as you are a permanent Ohio resident, regardless of what state or location you received your vaccine, you will be eligible to win.

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Gov. Mike DeWine announced during his statewide address last week that to be eligible for the two separate drawings, Ohioans must have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

Ohioans 18 years old and over are eligible for one of five drawings with a $1 million prize, while Ohioans between the ages of 12-17 are eligible to win a four-year, full-ride scholarship to any Ohio state college or university.

More details on the program:

  • By registering for the drawings you are giving the Ohio Department of Health the right to obtain health information regarding your vaccination, McCloud said.
  • Each entrant will be assigned a number and the drawings will be conducted by using a computerized random number generator.
  • You will not be able to remain anonymous if you are selected as a winner.
  • To be eligible for the first week’s drawing participants must register by 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, May 23. The first week’s drawing will happen at 7:30 p.m. on Monday, May 24 and a verification process will be used to make sure the person has been vaccinated that was drawn. The first week’s winner will be announced on Wednesday, May 26 at 7:29 p.m. during the Ohio Lottery’s time on WHIO-TV. This process will continue for five weeks.
  • There will be up to 100 alternate winners selected in the event the first winner is not able to be verified as a winner.
  • The $1 million winners will receive a lump-sum payment and will be responsible for taking taxes out. The winners will receive at 1099 tax form to file with next year’s taxes.
  • McCloud said the money for the sweepstakes is coming from previously granted dollars from the federal CARES Act and assigned to the Ohio Department of Health by the Ohio Control Board. “It is legal to use the funds for what we’re using them for,” McCloud said. “We have to use this money.”
  • The ODH Director added that everything was on the table, including the sweepstakes, when the control board gave the money to the Ohio Department of Health for use. She said this specific idea had not been necessarily introduced yet. “He is bold in his initiatives. He is broad thinking,” McCloud said of DeWine.
  • McCloud said Friday was the single-day highest vaccination rate in the last three weeks. Vaccinations in some adult categories were up six percent last week after three weeks of declines of around 24 percent each week, she said.
  • The Ohio Lottery will be handling the drawings and registration. There will be capacity on the website to handle the registrations, the lottery said. There are backup plans in the event the website crashes.