Excitement grows in Miami Valley after first Vax-a-Million lottery winners announced

Miami Valley News

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — There’s excitement across the state after the first Vax-a-Million drawing, and it is growing in the Miami Valley after a Northmont student was the first to win a full ride scholarship to college.

Several Ohioans who got their dose Thursday said they did so just for an opportunity to win.

“It definitely influenced our decision to get it in the timeframe we got it,” said Joseph Costello, Ohio’s first Vax-a-Million scholarship winner.

After seeing a Miami Valley teen win a full ride scholarship, the Mazzei family, which includes twins, said they signed their children up to receive a dose just to have a shot at a free college education.

“It would be very nice, having two in college at the same time will be pricey, so it’ll be very nice to have one taken care of,” said Mark Mazzei.

Since the lottery was announced, the state is reporting a 94% increase in vaccinations among 16-to-17-year-olds and roughly 50% among 18- to 40-year-olds. Governor Mike DeWine said the lottery was intended to create a sense of urgency among Ohioans.

“The faster we can get people vaccinated, the better it is. Because once someone is vaccinated and reaches full immunity not only will they not get it but they won’t spread it,” said DeWine.

Another Miami Valley teen said he received a dose to help life return to normal.

“I hated being quarantined and wearing a mask in general. I like seeing people and talking with them,” said Zane Allen, a student at Centerville High School. “People with masks look completely different without a mask and when we get back to normal life, it’s going to be a lot better. We can actually see and talk with them and be in-person.”

For the next round, all entries must be in by May 30 at 11:59 p.m. and the next winners will be announced June 2.

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