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Ohio State drawing winners celebrate prizes large and small

Vaccination prize drawing enters final week

More than 100 students, faculty and staff have cashed in on prizes as The Ohio State University’s Vaccination Prize Drawing finishes the third of four weeks.

Each week, four grand prize winners have had a chance to win an ‘A’ parking pass on the Columbus campus or pair of season tickets to Ohio State football home games. Since the university announced the incentive program, thousands of additional Buckeyes have reported that they are vaccinated against COVID-19. More than 73% of Ohio State students, faculty and staff are now vaccinated.

In addition to the grand prizes, two winners won $1,000 gift cards, four won $500 gift cards, eight won $250 gift cards and 20 won $100 gift cards this week. The program offers a total of $50,000 in prizes to students, faculty and staff who have received and reported their COVID-19 vaccination shots.

Even the smaller prizes are appreciated by the winners. Matthew Farrell, assistant professor-clinical, Department of Family and Community Medicine, was a $100 winner. He said he had forgotten he had entered the drawing when he received the email announcing he had won.

“I’m like, ‘That’s pretty cool,’” he said. “When I submitted my vaccine information, I saw we were having this drawing and I thought, ‘Yeah, sure, if I win something, that’s great.’”

Farrell didn’t need a contest or an incentive to get vaccinated – he did it out of a desire to protect himself and his family. He hopes the incentive inspires others to join him.

“Ohio State is such a big place, that if we could get every single employee, faculty, staff and student [to get vaccinated], that’s a huge chunk of people who are unlikely to spread the virus,” he said.

The university is working toward that goal. Following the U.S. Food and Drug Administration decision to grant full approval to the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, Ohio State will now require every student, faculty and staff member to be vaccinated against COVID-19. 

Canada Keck, a senior research associate at CHRR, an Ohio State social science research center, is one of this week’s grand prize winners. She chose the parking pass.

“I got [vaccinated] as soon as it was [available] because I think getting vaccinated is the best way to protect ourselves and the loved ones in our life,” she said Keck.

Khushi Garg, a civil engineering major; Noah Hanft, a materials science and engineering major; and Zane Altizer, a service desk technician, won the other grand prizes this week.

There’s still time to sign up for the final drawing. The deadline to enter next week’s drawing is 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 29. Details about eligibility, terms and conditions are at the Safe and Healthy Buckeyes website.

Ohio State is funding the program through the university’s strategic cash reserves. No tuition, donor or tax dollars are being used.

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