A Vaccine Lottery? In The Grand Tradition of “Hype”, Let’s Do It
I was all set to rant about the Ohio State Vaccine Lottery. I was ready to complain about the fall of civilization as we know it, but then I had an epiphany. Civilization is already going to hell, so why don't we have some fun.
Two things happened yesterday around the time the state of Ohio announced its first round of winners. "Live, from Ohio, it's who wants to be the first vaccine millionaire?"
The first was, I saw a guest essay in the New York Times from Ohio Governor Mike DeWine titled "Don't Roll Your Eyes At Ohio's Vaccine Lottery", and in that essay he mentioned Bill Veeck. Veeck was a legendary baseball team owner (Cleveland, Chicago White Sox, St. Louis Browns, and as a boy he planted the ivy in the outfield walls of Wrigley Field, where his father was team president.), but more importantly, Veeck was a showman. He knew how to promote. And DeWine used a Veeck quotation: To give one can of beer to a thousand people is not nearly as much fun as to give 1,000 cans of beer to one guy.”
Veeck understood you have to make the audience want to. Want to what? Whatever it is you're trying to sell them. In Veeck's case, fun when coming to a ballgame. As owner of the St. Louis Browns, he sent 3' 7" Eddie Gaedel to the plate again the Detroit Tigers. With the White Sox, he had men dressed as Martians "kidnap" his shortstop, Luis Aparicio, from the field. Of course, his most memorable promotion was Disco Demolition Night, some 40 years ago. But...it was a full house. (Remember, there's profit in beer, and in fannies in the seats)
And, I also remembered a wonderful John Goodman movie from the early 90's, Matinee.
(Shout! Factory via YouTube)
Goodman's character was a schlock movie producer/promoter debuting a horror movie against the backdrop of the Cuban Missile Crisis. Well, if our pandemic isn't a crisis, what is? And a million dollar lottery is a nice diversion.
So, Governor Whitmer, I officially am in favor of a Michigan Lottery for us vaccinees. (As long as I'm eligible, retroactively)