Experts weigh in on DeWine’s $1M vaccine sweepstakes program

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine has turned to cash prizes and college scholarships to encourage Ohioans to get vaccinated against COVID-19. Experts say it's an idea worth trying.

While Maine is offering an LL Bean gift card and West Virginia is dangling the promise of a $100 savings bond, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine is going big – very big – in the vaccination incentive game.

DeWine's Ohio Vax-a-Million promises $1 million prizes to five lucky Ohioans and full-ride college scholarships to five lucky Ohio teens. The hitch: winners must be vaccinated against COVID-19 before the drawing. The goal is to push people to get the shot.

We asked two experts their take on it. Zoe McLaren is a health economist at University of Maryland, Baltimore County, and Dr. David A. Asch leads the Center for Health Care Innovation at University of Pennsylvania.

More:Ohio will lift mask mandate, all COVID-19 health orders June 2

Here's what they said.

Will a chance at $1 million motivate people to get vaccinated?

Asch: "Yes it will. It’s a human psychological foible that we tend to focus more on the prize and less on the chance of winning that prize. That explains why state lotteries are so popular, even though they return pennies on the dollar." 

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