Ohio announced the first winners of its Vax-2-School drawing on Monday, with more winners to be announced throughout this week.
The first 30 people who have earned $10,000 scholarships in return for getting the COVID-19 shot include:
- Midori Ayres, Fremont
- Frank Brown, Toledo
- Drake Bryan, Novelty
- Madison Cooke, Maineville
- Paige Delmore, Seven Hills
- Lola DeWitte, Perrysburg
- Lucinda Freund, Wadsworth
- Grant Fry, Doylestown
- Alice Jonas, Worthington
- Livia Kish, Akron
- Renee Kizlik, Eastlake
- Lydia Krausz, New Albany
- Lessah Lemaster, Enon
- Benjamin Lichman, Rocky River
- Andrea Ligon, Shaker Heights
- Mitchell Link, Jamestown
- Alena McCain, West Chester
- Spencer Meier, Cincinnati
- Claire Miller, Cincinnati
- Rachel Mohr, Dublin
- Martin Philip, West Chester
- Victoria Rahija, Mentor
- Donovan Simpson, Columbus
- Madeline Sines, Milford Center
- Sydney Stacho, Medina
- Emily Studer, Aurora
- Spencer Sullivan, Ostrander
- Alex Vargo, Rossford
- Katrina Whitmore, West Chester
- Makenna Wolf, Fremont
Vax-2-School is an initiative by the Ohio Department of Health to increase COVID-19 vaccination rates among young people, especially with the shot recently getting approval to be used on those as young as 5 years old.
“This age group has the most room to grow in getting vaccinated and, with the delta variant in our midst, is the group we’re most concerned will miss in-classroom opportunities if they get or are exposed to COVID-19," Gov. Mike DeWine previously said.
As of Sunday, only a quarter of Ohioans ages 19 and younger have received their first dose, per state data. The next lowest rate is for those ages 20 to 29 at 52%.
Since the governor announce the Vax-2-School prizes on Sept. 23, the vaccination rate for first doses increased from 33% to 40% for Ohioans ages 29 and younger, according to a USA Today Network Ohio Bureau review.
Between Tuesday and Friday, the state will draw 30 more winners each day for a chance at the $10,000 scholarships. On Friday night, the Ohio Lottery will also broadcast the five grand prize winners earning $100,000 scholarships.
As of last week, there were more than 133,600 entries. You can find who the winners are every day at 3:30 p.m. on Twitter and Instagram at @ohiovax2school. Grand prize winners will be announced at 7:30 p.m. Friday.
Prize scholarships are awarded in Ohio 529 College Advantage plans and can be used at any Ohio college, technical or trade school or career program.
There's still some time to qualify for the grand prize lottery. Ohioans ages 5 through 25 would need to get their first shot and enter online at www.ohiovax2school.com before the end of Wednesday.
Titus Wu is a reporter for the USA TODAY Network Ohio Bureau, which serves the Columbus Dispatch, Cincinnati Enquirer, Akron Beacon Journal and 18 other affiliated news organizations across Ohio.