Ohio Vax-A-Million: Cincinnati woman, Cuyahoga County girl final winners

Ohio Vaccine Lottery

COLUMBUS (WCMH) — More than 3.4 million Ohioans were hoping to hear their names called on television Wednesday night as the final Vax-A-Million drawing takes place.

However, it was Esperanza Diaz, of Cincinnati, who was the final winner of the $1 million prize while Sydney Daum, of Brecksville in Cuyahoga County, won the final full-ride scholarship.

“Congratulations, Esperanza!,” Gov. Mike DeWine wrote on Facebook. “You are our final Vax-a-Million – $1 million winner! Thanks for doing your part and getting vaccinated.”

The governor also paid a visit to Daum, posting a photo with the family on Facebook.

DeWine will hold a press conference with more information about the winners Thursday at 10 a.m.

Wednesday’s winners join $1 million winners Suzanne Ward, of Findlay, Mark Cline, of Union County, Jonathan Carlyle, of Toledo, and Abbigail Bugenske, of Silverton, and scholarship winners Sean Horning, of Cincinnati, Sara Afaneh, of Sheffield Lake, Joseph Costello, of Englewood, and Zoie Vincent, of Mayfield Village.

“The Vax-a-Million promotion was a resounding success for Ohio, with major increases in vaccinations in the first two weeks of the promotion,” Gov. Mike DeWine said in a press release following the drawing. “The even better news is we have more Ohioans protected from COVID through the power of the vaccine. I continue to urge Ohioans to get vaccinated to protect themselves and their loved ones from this deadly virus.”

The state Department of Health said Monday a total of 3,469,542 adults are entered in this week’s drawing for $1 million, and 154,889 Ohioans age 12 to 17 entered in the drawing for a college scholarship. 

That’s an increase of 41,028 adult entries and 4,702 scholarship entries from last week. 

You can watch this week’s drawing at 7:29 p.m. on air on NBC4, online on nbc4i.com, on the NBC4 Facebook page, or on the NBC4 app.

Names were drawn on the Monday following the Sunday entry deadline. According to the state’s lottery commission, it draws a winner and up to 100 alternates using a random number generator. Those names are then turned over to the Department of Health to verify their vaccination status. Should the first name not meet the required standards, the next name on the list is checked, and so on until a winner is verified.

All Ohio residents who have had at least one Pfizer, Moderna, or Johnson & Johnson shot were eligible to win the five drawings.

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