Ohio Will Spend Coronavirus Relief Funds on $1 Million Dollar Lottery for the Vaccinated

It's less dumb than it sounds.


Five lucky Ohioans who get vaccinated could win $1 million each, Gov. Mike DeWine (R) announced Wednesday as part of a plan to encourage vaccination.

"To be eligible to win, you must be at least 18 years of age or older on the day of the drawing," he said. "You must be an Ohio resident. And, you must be vaccinated before the drawing."

The state's "Vax-a-Million" drawings will be held on five consecutive Wednesdays, starting on May 26.

Some people will probably roll their eyes at the government wasting money on something like this, but the idea is less stupid than it sounds. Importantly, the money is already spent: The millions will come out of Ohio's federal coronavirus relief funds. There are many restrictions on how state and local officials can spend their American Rescue Plan money, and it's illegal to simply give the money back to the taxpayers.

Of all the ways to spend these dollars, a lottery that encourages vaccine holdouts to change their plans is probably one of the better ideas. Vaccination is a far more effective and practical COVID-19 mitigation strategy than continued masking, lockdowns, and social distancing. Schools, for instance, are getting $130 billion for the explicit purposes of improving ventilation, making class sizes smaller, and purchasing personal protective equipment. That money would be better spent on vaccination than cleaning efforts: While other mitigation strategies merely reduce COVID-19 spread, the vaccines effectively neuter the disease. Nothing else is nearly as important a priority.

Other provisions of the coronavirus relief package have little to do with the disease itself, and instead fund various welfare programs: housing, health care, public transit, etc. But the simplest way to stop the negative effects of the pandemic is to stop the disease itself through widespread vaccination. If the chance to win a million dollars encourages a sizable number of people who were on the fence to head to their local CVS, that's a fairly good outcome. Better that than many of the alternatives, given the money has to be spent on something.

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  1. Still dumb. On congress.

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  2. Or one fill-up of gasoline. Winner’s choice.

    1. This article is arguing it is okay to influence citizens for political purposes with cash give aways as long as the money was already appropriated. What the actual fuck.

      1. Not meant as a reply.

      2. Coming from the publication that spent half a decade nuthugging Cass Sunstein and his theory of “libertarian paternalism” by way of the eponymous Nudge, are you really surprised?

  3. The IQ of my state just went down another notch.

    1. Kinda hard to do. Your entire state drives to Myrtle Beach every summer.

      1. I live in Ohio and not gonna lie, that was funny as hell.

    2. IQ didn’t have much further to go given the lack of people getting the vaccine. Had to cut 80% of the weekly order because people are either dumb or selfish (you know- mooching off society without ever giving anything back like the courtesy of being vaxxed to stop a pandemic so we can get over all the masks and restrictions.)

  4. Cyto was right. Can’t give money to the people, but a person is ok.

  5. Jesus, they must think these vaccine holdouts are morons.

    1. And the evidence supports that.

  6. Well, since the states aren’t allowed to give tax cuts with the money, this isn’t a bad alternative.

    1. Legislatures are allowed to repeal or amend stupid laws.

  7. Not enough reason to get any of the vaccines, particularly the Moderna 2 part.

    1. I know right? As long as everyone around you gets vaccinated, you can be a total freeloader!

      1. This is radical individualism.

      2. If the vaccine protects you from getting COVID-19 why do you care whether or not anyone else gets it you morbidly obese disgusting fat piece of shit? You finally have something that will protect your lardass from your pants-shitting fear of the coof, but it’s just not good enough unless everyone else gets it too?

        1. Probably because it’s not 100% effective and because some are immunocompromised and cannot get it. Herd immunity doesn’t work without the herd.

          But hey- you’re one of those freeloaders chemjeff was talking about- willing to take all of society’s goods without doing anything in return. How’s it feel to be a mooch?

  8. The best way to encourage vaccine holdouts to change their plans is to:

    1)continue to test for covid on admission to hospital. That’s a medical necessity anyway.
    2)if they test positive and have not been vaccinated, they can be sent home (at the whim of the hospital) or can be told that their bills aren’t covered (at the whim of the insurance company).

    You want to yap about dying WITH covid instead of FROM covid? Fine. Be careful what you wish for, you just got it.

    You want to pretend that it’s your liberty and your money. Fine. If you get the disease, your medical spending will be on your dime.

    1. It’s already on my dime, the government doesn’t pay for my medical treatments, and then you suggest a denial of medical treatment based on covid diagnosis+no vaccine? Pathetic piece of shit with no compassion, go fuck yourself faggot.

      1. Fuck you asshole- if you had any compassion then you’d just get the damn shot you moron.

    2. Now do AIDS.

    3. You want to yap about dying WITH covid instead of FROM covid? Fine. Be careful what you wish for, you just got it.

      So deliberately killing people who are going to die from an illness other than COVID by refusing medical treatment because they refused to take an experimental genetic therapy authorized for emergency use only somehow in your fucked up retard simian brain is karmic justice because the CDC spent the last year classifying homicides and car crash fatalities as COVID deaths? Jesus fucking Christ dude. I know you’re unbelievably stupid, a paranoid conspiracy theorist wackbag who thinks Venezuela was a model society before Hugo Chavez was targeted by the CIA for psyops and eventual assassination, and bootlicking totalitarian fascist, but could you at least make some trivial effort at making your conclusion relate even in the most tangential way to your premise? Or better yet, since you’re already on your knees, suck on my balls until I get bored enough to shoot you in the face.

      1. It’s unbelievably stupid to think they’re classifying a car crash fatality as a covid death.

        Man, you people are rich. Rich in stupidity that is.

      2. I’m not deliberately killing anybody. It is the hospital or insurance company that would be allowed to refuse treatment. They are the ones who are paying for your higher medical costs – and those costs are being passed on to govt.

        You people have been lying through your teeth about everything for a year. Deliberately deceiving others about everything, for assholish partisan political reasons, so they cannot make a decision based on knowledge. And now you wanna whine about your freeloading.

        Well fuck you and the horse you rode in on.

    4. I can’t agree with this premise it’s like say why don’t we just kill all old people and obese people. Our own version of logan’s run.

      1. It’s the only way I can think of for people who don’t get the vaccine to actually pay for the increased medical risks/costs they are attempting to transfer to others. That’s the only intention with this. To stop the freeloading.

        And yes – there is massive freeloading for anyone who is either old or fat or chronically ill (ie likely to go to hospital reasonably often) and not getting the vaccine. For the young/healthy – that decision I understand. But since they are the ones who are really paying for the freeloaders this is the way for them to get involved with this decision based on reality rather than anti-vax bs and political agitprop perpetuated by the freeloaders.

    5. That sounds good to me. Of the 550,000 people who have died with Covid, only 25,000 were younger than 50. That’s a trivially small number compared to 330 million so the government should prohibit vaccinations to those younger than 50. Give the vaccines to Mexicans and Canadians who want them.

  9. Brilliant idea.

    1. Poor Dee. You’ll never be a Reason intern.

  10. >It’s less dumb than it sounds.

    Nope, you stole that money from us, I’d rather like it back so I can do with my property as I please. Instead this idiot is arguing the state knows best? It’s so insulting to come to a “libertarian” publication and see embarrassing shit like this. Fuck off Robby, you’re an idiot.

    1. Someone didn’t read the article.

      1. SPOILER: as always, it was cytotoxic the morbidly obese fat piece of shit.


  12. Is this the libertarian moment? Sigh.

    1. We almost had a libertarian moment but then mean Trump started tweeting and all of our libertarian dreams went circling down the toilet.

      1. Trump was never libertarian. Probably wouldn’t understand it if you explained it to him.

  13. What’s round in front, shot THROUGH the middle…and round at the end?

    1. cytotoxic’s gigantic fat lard ass?

  14. There are many restrictions on how state and local officials can spend their American Rescue Plan money, and it’s illegal to simply give the money back to the taxpayers.

    So Joe Biden forced Ohio at gunpoint to take the money in the first place?

  15. If it’s successful maybe other states can do the same so we can get past this thing. Wouldn’t that be nice.

    And for anyone who thinks this is neverending…Ohio has already announced on June 2 that restrictions will end so don’t give me that garbage about how it won’t.

  16. There are many restrictions on how state and local officials can spend their American Rescue Plan money, and it’s illegal to simply give the money back to the taxpayers.

    It won’t be illegal after the states win their federal lawsuit.

  17. “Get the shot” sounds an awful lot like “drink the koolaid”

  18. Do you have to still be alive to collect?

  19. So the premise of the article is that it’s a good idea if it works as planned. What if it doesn’t work as planned? What if only five people get the vaccination? Was it money well spent? And is it good to set a precedent that those who did what our government overseers wanted don’t have a chance to win $5 million, but those who held out do?

    1. Convenience would be better. How about instead a Covid door dash type service instead. Just call for an appointment and we will come to you. I can see that there are more shots and more funds than people willing to use them. Giving away free stuff or money is the oldest marketing technique in the books. But somehow I don’t think this is going to work.

    2. I think that most of us who have got it are glad we did and one less thing to worry about. The other thing is most would really be happy if we could all just go back to normal and we need other people to step up and get jabbed. So I don’t think there will be much resentment about that if it works.

  20. It’s not nearly as wasteful as their earlier programs where they would flush the money down a golden crapper in homage to the almight state. Gosh, we used to sacrifice bulls and our first born to the state, now we sacrifice dollars and indebt our first born in the hopes that the state will look kindly upon us. But like Moloch the insatiable state never does.

  21. It’s becoming clear that being vaccinated against covid makes you retarded. Look at this comment thread, holy shit.

  22. no, it’s exactly as dumb as it sounds

  23. I wouldn’t mind winning big by only getting a harmless vaccine shot

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