‘I thought it might have been a prank’: Ohio Vax-a-Million winners share their stories

Coronavirus

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WJW) – Ohio Governor Mike DeWine used Thursday’s media meet-and-greet with the Vax-a-Million winners to announce some big changes that mark yet another chapter in the coronavirus pandemic.

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  • The state is allowing nursing and assisted living to make their own decisions on visitation
  • State regulations on how visitation should take place at nursing homes and assisted living will be removed
  • Nursing homes will now follow federal and CDC guidance
  • Testing employees for COVID-19 who are not vaccinated will continue under state guidelines
  • Vaccinated employees will not be required to be tested
  • State of Emergency in Ohio will be lifted tomorrow, Friday, June 18
  • Ohio Department of Rehabilitation of Corrections, Northeast Ohio Correctional Center in Youngstown Correctional Officer Christopher Jones has died of COVID-19 last Thursday
  • The vaccination rate of people between 12 and 17 in Ohio is 54%
  • The vaccination rate of people over 18 in Ohio is 57.6%
  • Numbers do not include Ohio residents who were vaccinated in other states
  • Numbers do not include Ohio’s VA system
  • 258,000 vaccinations were given at Cleveland State’s Wolstein Center over a 12-week period

Only one drawing remains in the state’s Vax-a-Million contest.

The program was announced May 12.

Since then, more than 489,000 people have gotten the vaccine, according to data from the Ohio Department of Health website.

Overall, nearly 47% of the state’s population has begun the vaccination process.

The state’s newest winners were announced Wednesday night.

Suzanne Ward from Findlay in Hancock County became Ohio’s newest instant millionaire.

Suzanne Ward of Findlay (Courtesy: Governor Mike DeWine via Twitter)

Suzanne is a business professor at Findlay University.

“It was just surreal,” she shared Thursday morning.

She had no immediate plans except to meet with a financial advisor.

Sean Horning of Cincinnati won the full-ride scholarship to an Ohio public university or college.

Sean Horning, Courtesy: Mike DeWine twitter

It couldn’t have come at a better time for Sean. He just graduated high school.

“I thought it might have been a prank because it did not feel real,” he told reporters.

He said he didn’t believe it until he talked to the governor himself.

“I was praying for that and it just came through,” his mom Lena shared.

Sean isn’t sure yet what his plans are for college, but he says he wants to take advantage of the opportunity.

For those who want to be a part of the final drawing who haven’t already entered, there are four remaining days, until 11:59 p.m. Sunday to do so. You’re required to start the vaccine process and sign up on the state’s website.

Currently, more than 3.4 million Ohioans have entered the $1 million prize drawing.

Just over 150,000 people have entered to win the college scholarship.

The final winner will be announced June 23.

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