“Shot of a Lifetime:” Washington mechanic wins $1 million vaccination prize
OLYMPIA, Wash. — A motorcycle mechanic in his early 20s won $1 million in the “Shot Of A Lifetime” vaccine lottery; a collaboration between Washington’s Lottery, the Washington Department of Health, and the office of Governor Jay Inslee.
A resident of South King County, which has a particularly low vaccination rate compared to the rest of the county, Kameron M is the state’s grand prize winner. There was no vaccine lottery when Kameron got his COVID-19 vaccination — He just thought it was the right thing to do.
“I never worried about the money, actually. I always worried about what made me happy,” Kameron said. “I want my family safe; and my peers.”
Despite being the winner, he’s not interested in being the poster-child for vaccine urgency. Kameron told reporters that he doesn’t want to tell people what to do, but that they should do what they feel is right in terms of vaccination.
“I’m not going to force anybody to do anything, but I do encourage it because you want to protect people around you and others,” he said.
Kameron plans to put some of that money back into his home and invest the rest of it to build toward a brighter future with his girlfriend and family. He doesn’t plan on quitting his job as he wants to maintain a stable income and use this opportunity wisely.
Through much of the process, Kameron simply didn’t believe he won a million dollars. He had settings on his phone that blocked unknown callers, so outreach personnel from Washington’s Lottery had to contact his mother, who vetted them and told her son that she thought it was real.
To that, the Governor reminded Washington residents that they should probably listen to their moms.
For Gov. Inslee, this initiative is and always has been about raising the state’s vaccination rate.
“It’s gratifying that we’re involved in this effort,” Gov Inslee said. “We do believe this has resulted in more people being vaccinated than there would have been otherwise.”
Washington was set to lift all COVID-19 restrictions as soon as the state hit a 70% vaccination rate amongst the eligible population. Instead, the state re-opened after June 30—A deadline set by President Joe Biden and followed by Governor Inslee.
Though Washington didn’t hit a 70% vaccination rate in time, the state did surpass the milestone in mid-July.
On July 7, Gov. Inslee tweeted that the Institute for Disease Modeling estimates the initiative led to a 24% increase in vaccination rates across all age ranges. That accounts for nearly 30,000 Washingtonians who got vaccinated in a last-minute push for the vaccine lottery program.
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