Vax-a-Million winner: It’s about getting the vaccine

A Union County man who won $1 million as part of Ohio’s Vax-a-Million campaign said while the money is the “extra icing on top” the real prize is getting vaccinated.

“More importantly I think it’s about getting vaccine,” said Mark Cline. “I hope everyone makes the decision to get it.”

Cline and Sara Afaneh, the winner of the full college scholarship, joined Gov. Mike DeWine for a press conference Thursday morning.

Sara’s mother, Summer, said it was a “no brainer” to get her children vaccinated.

“As soon as they were eligible we signed them up and took them in,” she said.

Sara, who just finished seventh grade, said she’s thought about going to college, but hasn’t started looking at schools yet.

With four children, including a 17-year-old daughter, Summer said the scholarship will be a big help for the family.

When Cline found out that he won the million dollars, he said he joked with his wife, who did not sign up for Vax-a-Million, that it was his money.

“When the governor told me that I had won, I opened the door and said ‘We just won a million dollars,” he said. “I was really excited and I thought about it a second and said, ‘No, I won a million dollars because you didn’t register.’”

“However, in reality, my money is her money,” Cline added.

Cline and his wife were vaccinated together in March. While she looked at the Vax-a-Million registration, she decided against signing up because she didn’t want her name and information to be made public, he said.

As of Monday, 3,362,203 Ohioans ages 18 and older had signed up for the million dollar drawing and 143,604 people entered for the college scholarship, DeWine said.

The state is continuing to see more people sign up for the vaccine, especially in rural counties, he added.

The next Vax-a-Million drawing is Monday, June 14, with the final drawing scheduled for June 21. The winners will be announced June 16 and June 23 for the respective drawings.

To sign up, visit or call 1-833-4-ASK-ODH between 9 a.m. and 8 p.m.

Previously, Jonathan Carlyle, of Toledo, and Abbigail Bugenski of Hamilton County won the $1million prize. Joseph Costello, of Englewood, and Zoie Vincent, of Mayfield Village in Cuyahoga County, won the college scholarship.

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