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COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine added an incentive for people to receive a COVID-19 vaccination, announcing a $1 million drawing for state residents 18 and older.

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DeWine tweeted his contest on the day he spoke during a rare statewide address to announce that Ohio was lifting its COVID-19 health orders beginning June 2, WEWS reported.

In addition to the $1 million prizes which will be awarded on five consecutive weeks beginning May 26, DeWine announced that students 17-and-under who get vaccinations can enter into a contest to receive scholarships.

To win the $1 million, contestants must be at least 18 on the day of the drawing and must be Ohio residents, DeWine said. Persons must have received at least the first dose of the vaccination before the drawing.

For residents 17-and-under who have been vaccinated, the winner of a drawing will receive a full, four-year scholarship to a state public university, WEWS reported. The scholarship would include tuition, books, room and board, DeWine said.

An online portal to register for the scholarship will be opened on Tuesday.

The contests will be funded from existing federal coronavirus relief funds, WEWS reported. The Ohio Department of Health will sponsor the drawings and the Ohio Lottery will conduct them.

“I know that some may say, ‘DeWine, you’re crazy! This million-dollar drawing idea of yours is a waste of money.’” DeWine said. “But truly, the real waste at this point in the pandemic — when the vaccine is readily available to anyone who wants it — is a life lost to COVID-19.”

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