Winston-salem, NC

Winston-Salem Mom Becomes First Millionaire in North Carolina Vax Lottery

Lisa Goetz
North Carolina is giving away $1 million each to four adults who get at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.Steven Cornfield/Unsplash

"I was overwhelmed, not believing it. I still don't believe it." That’s how a North Carolina mom of three and teacher described being the first $1 million winner in the state’s Summer Cash campaign. Speaking to WCNC Charlotte, Shelly Wyramon said that she didn’t believe she had won the prize until she was on a call with state secretary for the Department of Health and Human Services Dr. Mandy Cohen.

North Carolina is also giving out generous prizes to rising college students through its Summer Cash 4 College lottery. Teenager Vania Martinez won $125,000 for college as a result of getting the vaccine.

Martinez told reporters that she researched the vaccine and decided that it would be beneficial for her to get it. According to the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, "The $125,000 can be used at any post-secondary institution and [is] awarded by funding a savings account in the NC 529 Plan."

In spite of the hefty prize announcements, North Carolina residents have been slow to act. Only 52% of adults in the state have been vaccinated, as of this writing.

If you’re interested in possibly becoming a millionaire soon, there’s still time. State residents who get at least one dose of the vaccine are automatically registered for the lottery through the state’s COVID-19 Vaccine Management System. For each prize, the state selects one winner and several alternates, in case the first winner does not agree to terms and conditions.

State officials plan to conduct drawings for the additional million-dollar prizes and cash scholarships through August 4.

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A career freelance journalist, Lisa Goetz writes about cryptocurrency, finance, politics, society, and culture. Goetz's articles have been featured in USA Today, San Francisco Chronicle, Seattle Post-Intelligencer, and the Houston Chronicle.


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