OHIO — Mark Cline of Union County spent most of his career at Marathon Petroleum, stepping into several different positions throughout the years. But in 2016, he decided to retire. 

Now, he's the third Vax-a-Million winner of $1 million, which Cline said is "a little extra icing on top of my life."

While Cline said he's excited to be a winner, he said the real prize was getting the vaccine. 

“I hope everyone makes that decision to get it and looks after their friends and neighbors," Cline said. 

Mark Cline during Thursday's press conference.

The message was echoed by the Afaneh family in Lorain County, whose daughter Sara, 13, won a full-ride scholarship. 

“We feel so lucky and so blessed that we won but like Mark said, we were so lucky that we were able to access the vaccine," said Summer, her mom. 

Sara is turning 14 soon and will be going into the 8th grade, so even though she said she's thought about college, she hasn't quite figured out where she wants to go. But regardless, she's excited to have won. 

There are two more drawings in the Vax-a-Million lottery.

To enter, Ohio residents must have received either the Johnson & Johnson coronavirus vaccine or at the least the first dose of the Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine. Residents must be age 18 or older to enter the lottery for one of five $1 million prizes, and those who entered for full-ride scholarships must be 12- to 17-years-old. 

If a winner is found to not have gotten the vaccine, the participant will be disqualified and another winner will be picked.

The Ohio Department of Health said Monday more than 3.3 million adults are entered in this week’s drawing for $1 million. More than 143,000 Ohioans age 12 to 17 entered in the drawing for a full-ride scholarship. Compared to last week, that's a total of around 147,000 more entries. 

Last week's winners were Jonathan Carlyle of Toledo, who won $1 million, and Zoie Vincent of Mayfield Village, who won a full-ride scholarship. 

The first winners were Abbey Bugenske, 22, and Joseph Costello, 14

Individuals can still register for a chance to win one of the next two prizes by going to http://www.ohiovaxamillion.com/ or calling 1-833-4-ASK-ODH (1-833-427-5634).

The lottery is a public outreach campaign by the Ohio Department of Health to get residents vaccinated. 


More than 46% of the state's population has received the first dose of the vaccine, and 41% is completely vaccinated. 

The Vax-a-Million lottery quickly sparked other states to come up with something similar in order to boost vaccination rates, including ColoradoMarylandNew York state and Oregon. The latest state to announce a vaccine incentive was Kentucky with its “Shot At A Million” program.