(The Center Square) – A Winston-Salem woman is the first person to be awarded $1 million for receiving a COVID-19 vaccination in North Carolina, state officials announced June 29.
Shelly Wyramon and 14-year old Vania Bazan Martinez, a high school freshman in Wilmington, were the first winners in the state's million-dollar and college scholarship vaccine lottery.
Wyramon received $1 million, and Martinez won a $125,000 college scholarship after being vaccinated.
Gov. Roy Cooper and N.C. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Mandy Cohen made the announcement June 29. The Cooper administration launched the Your Shot at A Million and Cash 4 College drawings to encourage more people to get vaccinated in the state.
“I congratulate today's winners for both their success in the cash drawing and for protecting themselves and their families from COVID-19 by getting vaccinated,” Cooper said. “There are three more million-dollar and college scholarship drawings and getting your shot now gets you entered twice for each drawing. Regardless, everyone is the winner with a safe and effective vaccine that protects you and your loved ones.”
The money for the vaccine lottery comes from federal coronavirus aid, Cooper said. The state will conduct three more drawings for $1 million each for vaccinated adults and four college tuition drawings for children age 12 to 17. Each child will be eligible to win $125,000 toward post-secondary education in the state.
State officials will conduct the drawings every other Wednesday through Aug. 4. All North Carolinians age 12 or older who have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine will be entered into the drawings.
The next drawing in North Carolina is July 7.
Cooper's office said Wyramon was scheduling her teenage daughter’s vaccination appointment when she learned she won the drawing.
“I couldn’t believe we won until I saw Secretary Cohen on our computer screen congratulating us," Wyramon said in a statement. "I can’t put into words what that means for our family.”