Vax-a-Million winners share why they chose to be vaccinated

The winners of Ohio’s second Vax-a-Million drawing shared why they decided to get vaccinated against coronavirus and their plans for the $1 million prize and college scholarship.

Jonathan Carlyle of Toledo won $1 million and Zoie Vincent from Mayfield Village in Cuyahoga County won the scholarship.

Vincent said she had coronavirus and it was “the most sick I’d ever been.”

“[This] played a significant role in my decision to get a vaccination because if I can guarantee that I’ll never feel this way again or my family won’t have to feel this way again, I felt like I would definitely take it, and so I did get the vaccine,” she said.

The virus also affected Carlyle and his family.

“My sister and her husband both came down with COVID, as well as his father who passed from COVID,” he said. “She was on me a lot to go and get the vaccination, and that played a very significant role in me getting my vaccination.”

He initially put off getting vaccinated because he was working a lot, but said he still knew he needed and wanted to get the vaccine.

“When [Gov. Mike DeWine] announced Vax-a-Million, as soon as I heard that, a few days later I got the Johnson & Johnson shot,” Carlyle said.

He found he’d won $1 million after he just finished working Wednesday.

When saw he missed a call from the governor he had a feeling it was good news.

“I had a feeling what was up,” Carlyle said. “I’d been paying attention and was fairly certain I’d won, but I wanted to hear your voice.”

He plans to use the $1 million prize to find a “forever home” for his family, which includes his 5-month-old son.

“This is so welcome,” Carlyle said. “I can’t explain how much pressure this is going to take off.”

Vincent said it was a “super, big surprise” when she found out she won the college scholarship.

A rising senior, she said she’s thought a lot about her future career.

“I’m definitely interested in medicine,” Vincent said.

Case Western Reserve University and Ohio State University are two schools she’s considering, but she’s also looking into other colleges as well.

Ohioans have three chances remaining to win $1 million or a full college scholarship through the Vax-a-Million campaign.

Residents 12 and older who have received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine can sign up for the drawings at

During the first drawing last week, Abbigail Bugenske, of Hamilton County, won $1 million and Joseph Costello, of Englewood, won the scholarship.

The next drawing is scheduled for Monday and the winners will be announced Wednesday.

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