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Washington announces winner of $1 million COVID-19 vaccine lottery prize

The winner of Washington's "Shot of a Lifetime" COVID-19 vaccine lottery was announced Friday by Gov. Jay Inslee.

OLYMPIA, Wash. — Kameron M. of South King County is the $1 million grand prize winner of Washington's "Shot of a Lifetime" COVID-19 vaccine lottery. 

Kameron, who is a motorcycle mechanic in his early 20s, was introduced by Gov. Jay Inslee during a press conference Friday in Olympia.

Initially, Kameron said he didn’t receive the call from Washington’s Lottery officials due to security settings on his phone. Officials contacted his mother who convinced him it wasn’t a scam.

Kameron said that he plans to put the money toward a house and investments.

“All my life I always tried to do what I want to do and what makes me happy. I never worried about the money, actually, and I always worried about what made me more happy, and I always go with my gut. One of the things that’s crazy about this was that I didn’t even know about this whole thing until I got the call," Kameron said. "I wanted to be safe with everyone around me. I wanted my family to be safe and my peers."

His number was picked Tuesday along with another 368 numbers for numerous other prizes, including those that were not claimed during the previous four drawings.

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These prizes were for things like a pair of Club Level Seattle Seahawks tickets with a $50 parking pass, seven Nintendo Switch Packs, 30 state parks camping gift cards and 148 Discover Passes.

Winners for the first four $250,000 prizes were chosen through June. Click here for a list of all the prizes available during the fifth and final drawing.

The “Shot of a Lifetime” vaccine lottery was announced by Inslee and his team in early June with millions of dollars in prizes, including cash.

Data from the Washington State Department of Health shows the lottery increased vaccinations by 24%, with the largest boost among youth under 18.

As of Tuesday, the state said 4,123,601 Washingtonians 18 years old and up have at least initiated their vaccination process. By comparison, on June 8, just after the state announced the lottery, there were 3,904,156 Washingtonians who had received at least one dose of the vaccine.

The point of the lottery was to help boost Washington’s vaccination rate so that the state would hit Inslee’s goal of 70% of residents 16 years old and up having at least gotten one dose of the vaccine by June 30.

While the state did not meet that goal by June 30, it did finally hit the mark this week. As of Wednesday, 70% of Washingtonians 16 years old and up had gotten at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

The milestone came just two weeks after the state fully reopened on June 30, almost a year and a half after it closed down.

While the "Shot of a Lifetime" lottery comes to a close, Inslee and state health officials are continuing to encourage everyone to get vaccinated to protect themselves against the coronavirus and variants of the virus.

Inslee recently introduced “A Heroes Thanks,” a similar program but aimed specifically at military members, their families, and veterans who were not included in "Shot of a Lifetime." The first drawing is expected to take place on Tuesday, July 20, and looks to encourage those in the armed forces to get the shot.