DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – During the final Ohio Vax-a-Million lottery press conference Thursday morning, Governor Mike DeWine took time to congratulate the last $1 million winner Esperanza Diaz and college scholarship winner Sydney Daum.
“Thank you so much to you, and for having this great idea … thank you,” said Diaz.
Also during the conference, DeWine discussed how he feels Ohio is doing in the fight against COVID-19. “Our cases are going down. Our hospitalizations going down, but the virus is still here. With the variants it can become very dangerous for those who are not vaccinated.”
Even after the five weeks of the Vax-a-Million Lottery incentive, Ohio’s vaccination rate is still under 50%, with DeWine confirming 100 Ohioans are still dying of COVID-19 weekly. “Every life is precious. We more mourn every death. 100 is still 100.”
DeWine noting that more of the deaths seen in Ohio are shifting from older people to younger age groups. “The higher age group if you look over 65 we’re over 85% of that population has been vaccinated. The numbers are lower as you get into lower age groups.”
Now that the Vax-a-Million lottery has wrapped up, the state is collaborating with local schools, clubs and physicians to ensure more people get their shot. At the end of the press conference the governor was asked about future incentives. While he didn’t give a full answer, he noted that people have told him they’d like to see more drawings with less money as a way to encourage them to get vaccinated.