Ellensburg veteran wins $100,000 through WA vaccine lottery


ELLENSBURG, Wash. — A former Coast Guardsman from Kittitas County won a $100,000 grand prize through “A Heroes Thanks;” a COVID-19 vaccine incentive program for Washington state veterans through the Governor’s Office and Washington’s Lottery.

The winner is Mark W., who received his vaccination at the Seattle VA, is the big winner. These days, Mark works as a general contractor and spends plenty of time on job sites. He released the following statement through Washington’s Lottery:

“I’ve always joked with friends that I’d have a lot better chance of winning the Lottery if I played, and I guess getting my COVID shot was my winning ticket this time around. I feel very blessed, and I’m so thankful that these drawings are happening for veterans and service members, because no one, especially those who have served, should be left out of an opportunity like this. To be honest, it was a huge shock when I got the call. I’ve been a general contractor for the past 43 years, and was on a jobsite when the call came through. I got goosebumps all over my body when she told me I’d won. The Lottery had sent me an email the day before and left me a voicemail on my phone, too, but I wasn’t sure it was true, but then started seeing stories about it and realized this might be the real deal, so my advice to anyone who gets a call like that is to call them back because you might just be the next winner.”

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Additionally, 10 other people won prizes through the July 20 lottery drawing. Five people claimed $250 Amazon gift cards and five others claimed a $100 Washington State Parks gift card. Of the 11 winners in the July 20 drawing, seven received their COVID-19 vaccination at Department of Veterans Affairs health care facilities. The other four participants received their vaccination through the Department of Defense.

Three of the winners represent the Army, two represent the Navy, and the Ellensburg veteran represents the Coast Guard. Washington’s Lottery did not receive a breakdown of branches for the remainder of these United States veterans.

Another drawing through “A Heroes Thanks” is set for Tuesday, July 27. Anyone who gets vaccinated through the VA or Department of Defense is automatically enrolled in the program.


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