“Whirling”: Ohio’s 1st Vaccine Lottery Winners Talk

Columbus, Ohio (AP) – Good news when Ohio’s first-ever $ 1 million Vax-a-Millionvaccination Incentive Award winner drove to her family’s home on the outskirts of Cleveland. Received a call from Governor Mike DeWine.

A few minutes later Abbigail Bugenske yelled at his parents’ house, feeling like she was crying.

“There was a whirlwind,” said the 22-year-old Bugenske at a press conference on Thursday morning. “It hasn’t been fully processed yet. I’m still digesting it – and it feels like it’s happening to another person. I can not believe it. “

Bugenske is a mechanical engineer at GE Aviation in the suburbs of Cincinnati and has no plans to quit his job. She grew up in Shaker Heights, near Cleveland, and graduated from Michigan State University in 2020. She said she plans to donate to a charity to buy a car but will invest most of it.

The full college scholarship winner was Joseph Costello, an eighth grader in Inglewood, near Dayton.

Costello said he was “very excited” while sitting at a virtual press conference between his parents, Colleen and Rich. Joseph still has a long way to go, but he believes the state of Ohio or Miami, Ohio will go to college. He said it was him.

Colleen Costello said the governor called her when she quit her job on Wednesday. She initially thought this was a recording but realized it was DeWine herself.

“I was really grateful that there was a bench nearby because I had to sit down,” she said.

DeWine visited the Costello family directly with his wife, Fran DeWine, on the Wednesday following the announcement. He said he didn’t know the winner’s name until shortly before the call.

“It’s great to call someone up and tell them you’ve made a million dollars. It’s fun to call your family and tell them you’ve been paying a scholarship for four years, ”said the governor. ..

Bugenske said he received the Moderna vaccine once it was eligible, long before the lottery was announced. The Costellos said they had already been vaccinated and planned to have their children vaccinated by the end of this month, but the lottery announcement has postponed their dates.

Over 2.7 million adults are competing for a $ 1 million award, and over 104,000 children ages 12 to 17 are eligible for a college scholarship that includes classes, rooms, food, and books. I participated. Four more $ 1 million and college scholarship winners will be announced every Wednesday for the next four weeks.

Republican Dewein announced on May 12th a program to increase late-night vaccination rates.

The Ohio Lottery held its first drawing at the Cleveland Lottery Studio on Monday afternoon. Winners were selected using a random generator and the final qualifications of the winners were confirmed.

Participants must register by phone or via the Vax-a-Million website. Young people can register, but parents or guardians must check their eligibility. The names of the non-winning participants will be broadcast weekly. The deadline for new registrations ends on Sunday shortly before midnight.

‘Dewin, you are crazy! Your idea of ​​this million dollar painting is a waste of money, ”said the governor when he announced the incentive. But now that the vaccine is readily available. The real waste is “the life lost in COVID-19,” the governor said.

This concept seemed to work, at least initially. According to an analysis by the Associated Press, the number of people over the age of 16 who received the first COVID-19 vaccine in Ohio rose 33% in the week following the announcement of the $ 1 million incentive lottery.

However, the same review also found that vaccination rates were still well below numbers in early April and March.

As of Monday, at least 5.2 million people in Ohio, or about 45% of the state, had started the vaccination process. About 4.6 million people are vaccinated. This is 39% of the state. Nationwide, more than 165 million Americans have started the vaccination process, which is roughly 50% of the population. Over 131 million people are fully vaccinated, nearly 40% of whom are vaccinated.

Vax-a-Million is open to Ohio residents who have received a single dose of Johnson & Johnson or a first dose of Pfizer or Moderna.

DeWine’s proposal influenced lottery tickets promoting similar vaccinations in Colorado, Maryland, New York, and Oregon.

Colorado Democratic Governor Jared Polis said the state will run a $ 1 million lottery Tuesday to promote COVID-19 vaccination. Colorado has five residents. We have a $ 5 million Federal Corona Virus Relief Fund that is promoting vaccines for $ 1 million each.


Follow the Associated Press coverage of the pandemic at https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak.

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