Oregon $ 1 Million Vaccine Jackpot Winner Announced
PORTLAND, Oregon (AP) – The winner of Oregon’s $ 1 million COVID-19 vaccine jackpot is a fine arts student at Oregon State University, officials said on Friday.
McMinnville resident Chloe Zinda, says she plans to use the money to pay off student loans, pursue her artistic dream and open her own studio.
“I never imagined that getting my COVID vaccine would lead me to be here today and meet all of these amazing people,” Zinda said at a press conference on Friday, where Gov. Kate Brown presented her with a check.
Zinda said that as a part-time swimming instructor, she decided to get the shot in hopes of keeping her students safe.
“I’m really excited for our winner, but I’m also very excited for our state,” said Patrick Allen, director of the state health authority. “Thanks to our winner and the more than 2.3 million other Oregonians who have received at least one dose of the safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine, COVID is no longer holding Oregon so firmly in its grip.”
As the state neared its goal of vaccinating 70% of partially or fully vaccinated adults in the state, the governor announced a list of incentives in May and June for people who have been vaccinated. Among the prizes were vacation packages and $ 100 gift cards.
But the biggest prize was $ 1 million. Adults who received at least their first hit were automatically entered to win the jackpot.
“Like all of our lottery games, even if you didn’t win, Oregon won, albeit in a little different way,” said Barry Pack, Oregon Lottery Manager. “Instead of generating income for school parks and other good things, we helped Oregon meet the 70% immunization goal.
Additionally, there is at least one $ 10,000 prize in each of Oregon’s 36 counties, and those aged 12 to 17 have a chance to win one of five $ 100,000 scholarships. Officials say the winners of these awards will be announced in the coming weeks.
A week ago, Oregon reached the 70% mark of partially or fully vaccinated adults.
As demand for vaccines has started to slow, health officials are refocusing their priorities on vaccines in the arms of minority and underserved communities.
“We’re going to continue our vaccination efforts and we’re going to double down and make sure every Oregonian who wants a vaccine gets one,” Brown said.
In a sign of slowing demand, the state’s first mass vaccination clinic at the Oregon State Fair and Exposition Center in Salem is expected to close on July 24.
The clinic opened in January and more than 212,000 doses have been distributed.
Sara Cline is a member of the Associated Press / Report for America Statehouse News Initiative body. Report for America is a national, nonprofit service program that places reporters in local newsrooms to cover undercover issues.