‘Grateful for the vaccine’: Winners say that’s the most important aspect of Ohio’s Vax-a-Million drawing

Ohio Vaccine Lottery

COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Governor Mike DeWine held a news conference Thursday with the latest winners of Ohio’s Vax-A-Million lottery.  

DeWine talked with Mark Cline, of Richwood in Union County, who was announced as the $1 million winner, and Sara Afaneh, of Sheffield Lake in Lorain County, who won the scholarship.

Cline is a retired project manager with Marathon Petroleum. He and his wife got their vaccinations at a drive-thru clinic at the Union County Fairgrounds.

Cline stressed that getting the vaccine is the most important part of the Vax-a-Million process, and that naysayers should be ignored.

“Ignore all that — that’s not the stuff that’s happening,” Cline said about those who badmouth the vaccine. “Protect the men and women that you know.”

Cline said since his wife failed to register for the contest, he’s keeping the money for himself.

“The million is mine because she didn’t register,” he said, prompting a chuckle from Governor DeWine.

Sara is going into eighth grade at Brookside Middle School, which is part of Sheffield-Sheffield Lake City Schools.

She said she hasn’t thought about college yet but is excited to now that she has won the full-ride scholarship to an Ohio school.

Sara has two siblings, including a 17-year old sister whom Sara said is envious of her prize. Sara’s mother says the scholarship helps the whole family.

“It was really a seamless process,” Sara’s mother said about the vaccinations the family got at Fairview Hospital. “The vaccine is what we’re really grateful and thankful for.”

Governor DeWine said that in the week since the last Vax-a-Million drawing, an additional 136,000 adults and 10,000 teenagers entered the contest.

The next Vax-a-Million drawing is Wednesday, June 16.

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