Ohio GOP Senate candidate Mandel calls Gov. DeWine's $5 million vaccine lottery 'stunt'

"It was a stunt, it was a wasteful gimmick," Mandel said.
Republican Gubernatorial-elect Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine gives his victory speech after winning the Ohio gubernatorial race at the Ohio Republican Party's election night party at the Sheraton Capitol Square on November 6, 2018 in Columbus, Ohio.

Josh Mandel, a GOP candidate for a U.S. Senate seat for Ohio, on Friday criticized Republican Gov. Mike DeWine's plan to give out five, $1 million sweepstakes prizes to residents who are COVID-19 vaccinated, calling it a "stunt.'

"It was a stunt, it was a wasteful gimmick," Mandel said on the "John Solomon Reports" podcast.

"Our governor announced that he was going to take $5 million of our tax money and split it up into five, $1 million sweepstakes prizes," Mandel said. "Anyone who had a vaccine can put their name in the hat, and every Wednesday he's going to pick a name out of a hat and give them a million dollars of our tax money just because they had a vaccine."

State leaders across the country are thinking up ways to increase the participation rate for vaccine, which after the initial surge is plateauing at about 50 participation.

Mandel is a former state treasurer competing for in the 2022 race for the Senate seat being left open by retiring GOP Sen. Rob Portman.

"It's outrageous on so many levels," Mandel continued Friday. "First of all, it's completely wasteful. It's a perfect example of why bailouts are a horrible idea. You know, when the federal government bails out states, the states look at the money as free money instead of looking at it as taxpayer money, and they do ridiculous, wasteful things like this. And yeah, I called DeWine, 'Willy Wonka,' because that's what it's like. It's like, you know, who's got the golden ticket?"