Ohio names 4th Vax-a-Million winners as vaccinations stall


The Associated Press



COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The state announced the fourth pair of Ohio Vax-a-Million winners Wednesday evening even as the bump from the incentive program fades and vaccination numbers remain stagnant.

More than 3.4 million Ohioans entered their names for a shot at the $1 million, up a little from the 3.3 million who had registered for last week’s drawing. More than 150,000 children age 12-17 entered their names for the scholarship, up from just over 133,000 last week.

Suzanne Ward of Findlay, in Hancock County, won the $1 million prize and Sean Horning, of Cincinnati, won the college scholarship. Their names were announced at the end of the Ohio Lottery’s Cash Explosion TV show.

Republican Gov. Mike DeWine’s May 12 announcement of the incentive program had the desired effect, leading to a 43% boost in state vaccination numbers over the previous week. But numbers of vaccinations have dropped since then.

About 5.5 million people in Ohio have received at least one shot of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines or the Johnson and Johnson vaccine, or about 47% of the population. About 4.9 million people, or 42% of the population, have completed the process.

Earlier this month DeWine warned about 200,000 doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine were set to expire on June 23, but the Food and Drug Administration last week extended the expiration date by six weeks.

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The Associated Press