COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Ohio’s million-dollar vaccine lottery is going to require residents to opt in for the drawings.
State health director Stephanie McCloud announced details of the program Monday with state lottery director Pat McDonald. Having residents opt in is a change from what Gov. Mike DeWine announced last week.
Residents can opt in at www.ohiovaxamillion.com or by calling the state Department of Health at 833-4ASKODH. A person will only need to enter once for all of the vaccination drawings. The website will launch at 8 a.m. Tuesday.
Available are five scholarships to a state university for residents 12 through 17, and five $1 million prizes for adults 18 and older. Any Ohio resident is eligible, even if they were vaccinated out of state.
The drawings will take place over five weeks with the winners announced at 7:29 p.m. on Wednesdays, May 26 through June 23. The winners will not have the option of remaining anonymous.
State officials will take time before announcing the winner to determine that the person has been vaccinated. By opting in, a person agrees to let the state check their information. An alternate will be selected in case the winner is ineligible.
Last week, DeWine had said voter rolls would be used in determining who is eligible.
McCloud said money used for the lottery is coming from federal funds specifically designated for increasing awareness of the vaccination program, which is now open to anyone 12 and older. Anyone who has received the single dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, or at least the first dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, is eligible for the drawings.
The deadline to register is 11:59 p.m. on the Sunday before each drawing. And winners will be responsible for paying taxes on the prize money.