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Who won Ohio vaccine lottery?

A 22-year-old aerospace engineer who recently moved to the Cincinnati area becomes the first to win $1 million in the Ohio Vax-a-Million lottery.

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Who won Ohio vaccine lottery?
JEFF DEAN AFP

Ohio was the first state to implement a lottery to increase lagging vaccination numbers, according to the Governor the plan is working. On Wednesday the first winners were announced, one for adults of $1 million and another for teenagers who will get a four-year scholarship to any Ohio college.

Abbey Bugenske was in her car when she got a call from Governor Mike DeWine to inform her that she was the first to win the state’s weekly Vax-a-Million lottery. “I thought it was a prank call initially,” said Ms Bugenske.

Who is Abbey Bugenske, the winner of the Vax-a-Million?

Ms Bugenske is a native of the Cleveland area but she recently moved to a small town outside of Cincinnati, for a job with General Electric Aviation. Speaking to the press on Thursday she said she doesn’t have any plans to quit her job, which she loves. Currently, she is working toward earning a master’s degree in aerospace engineering from Ohio State University.

She is a proponent of vaccines and had already had her jab before the lottery was announced. She saw it as her way to protect her friends and family. “Vaccines have always been in my medical history. It was a pretty easy decision to go and get the vaccine as fast as I could,” she told the press.

What does she plan to do with the $1 million?

Ms Bugenske doesn’t have any concrete plans on what she will do with all the winnings, but she hopes to donate some of the money and invest the rest. One immediate purchase though will be a car, she was on her way to look at a used car when her phone rang with the shocking news. Even though she has more than enough for a new one she said “I think buying a used car is still in my future.”

Dayton area teen first to win four-year scholarship

The other drawing on Wednesday gave 14-year-old Joseph Costello of Englewood a four-year scholarship to any Ohio college of his choice. He was one of more than 104,000 teenagers entered in the lottery. When asked where he plans to attend, he was unsure but thought perhaps Miami University in Ohio or Ohio State University.

Is the Ohio state lottery working?

The Governor of Ohio Mike Dewine seems to think the lottery is working and data from the state seems to suggest that as well. The average number of new vaccinations per day increased to as many as 26,000, up from about 15,000, but there are caveats to that uptick. The rise was mainly seen in rural Ohio but not in the biggest cities. Additionally, the lottery began when vaccination for 12- to 15-year-olds was given the greenlight.