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Delivery driver wins Ohio's $1 million Vax-a-Million jackpot: I got a lot of bills to pay

[June 4, 2021: Josh Shavit]

An Amazon delivery driver is Ohio's second $1 million Vax-a-Million winner.

Jonathan Carlyle, of Toledo, is the second Ohioan to win the state's vaccination incentive grand prize.

The state's newest millionaire is an Amazon delivery driver. Carlyle said he was just getting off work around 7 p.m. when he received a call from Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine.

"I actually missed the call," Carlyle said Wednesday evening. "I was checking out from work and had to call him back. But I was shaking when I talked to him, when I heard his voicemail -- I knew what it was and about lost it."

The governor said he plans to make a habit of calling the state's Vax-a-Million winners ahead of each Wednesday's 7:29 p.m. drawing.


“It’s overwhelming. I don’t know what to do. I’m still dreaming," Carlyle said of that call.

The Toledo man said he doesn't have any big plans for his new money -- first pay off bills, then, perhaps, a house.

"I got a lot of bills to pay – so that’s the first thing that’s going to happen,” he said through a massive smile.

“Pay some bills and probably buy a house. I’m going to keep working. My girlfriend is going to keep working – it’s going to be a good bedrock for our family. It’s going to be awesome.”

Carlyle said the state's Vax-a-Million drawing actually inspired him to finally get the COVID-19 vaccine. After winning $1 million, he said it was well worth it.

"Get vaccinated! Do it! We need to!" he said.


Zoie Vincent, of Mayfield Village, was announced as Ohio's full-ride scholarship winner Wednesday evening. Vincent was out of town at the time of the drawing but found out of her luck via a FaceTime call from the governor.

More than 3.2 million Ohioans entered their names for a shot at the $1 million, up from the 2.8 million who had registered for last week's drawing. More than 133,000 children entered their names for the scholarship, up from just over 104,000 last week.

Abbigail Bugenske, last week's winner of $1 million, learned of her good fortune just minutes before her name was drawn when DeWine called as she was driving to her parents' home in suburban Cleveland. The mom of Joseph Costello, the first college scholarship winner, was leaving work when the governor called and had to sit down, she was so shocked.

The names were actually drawn Monday using a random number generator, to leave time to confirm recipients' eligibility. Vax-a-Million is open to permanent Ohio residents who have received either the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine or their first part of the two-dose Pfizer or Moderna vaccination.

After Wednesday night, three more $1 million and college scholarship winners will be announced each Wednesday for the next three weeks.

DeWine, a Republican, announced the program May 12 to boost lagging vaccination rates.


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