(5-23-21) State Rep. Jena Powell (R-Arcanum) wants to stop the Vax-A-Million lottery program.

Powell is drafting legislation that would prevent Governor DeWine and the state from administering of any money through the vaccine lottery program.

The first winners from both the drawing worth $1 million, as well as the drawing for a full-ride college scholarship to any Ohio state college or university, will be drawn Monday.

Bills require a 3-month waiting period before they can be enacted, but Powell’s legislation includes an emergency clause. This clause calls for the legislation to go into effect immediately to “prevent the COVID-19 vaccination lottery from taking place.

Powell is proposing to redirect the funding from the lottery towards other causes, such as children’s mental health or small business relief grants.

State Rep. Powell on May 13th issued the following statement on Governor DeWine’s announcement: 

“I condemn the lottery Governor DeWine is instituting for vaccinated Ohioans and strongly urge Governor DeWine to abandon pursuit of the lottery. 

For over a year, we’ve heard countless stories and seen proof of how our constituents are hurting because of Governor DeWine’s COVID-19 mandates. Thousands of hard-working Ohioans have lost their jobs, lost their businesses, and far too many are still without unemployment benefits. 

For Governor DeWine to say that any vaccinated Ohioan can potentially receive $1 million through a lottery is an insult to our hard-working constituents. 

This is a waste of taxpayer dollars, and, while the Ohio Controlling Board has already allocated the $5 million needed for the lotteries to ODH for “vaccine advertising,” we as the House of Representatives need to stand up for our constituents and voice our disapproval. 

This incident is opening up the eyes of Ohioans to what we’ve known for years – the State of Ohio spends Ohio taxpayer dollars frivolously every single year in the state budgets. The bloated state budgets grossly misuse the money that is hard-won by industrious Ohioans – wasteful spending like this $5 million lottery is a precise example of what happens when government gets too big and thinks they can spend your money better than you can. We must stand up for accountable spending in the state of Ohio.”