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Washington picks winner for $1 million COVID-19 vaccine lottery prize

The grand prize winner for Washington's "Shot of a Lifetime" lottery will be contacted Wednesday.

SEATTLE — The grand prize winner for Washington's "Shot of a Lifetime" COVID-19 vaccine lottery was chosen Tuesday morning around 8 a.m.

The winner will be notified on Wednesday.

The state also picked another 368 numbers for a number of other prizes, including those that were not claimed during the previous four drawings.

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.

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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.

How winners will be contacted 

Officials who are calling winners have been issued special phones, according to a lottery spokesperson. Most have a 253 area code and will show a Fife, Wash. location on caller ID. One number is a 564 area code. If you receive a call from an unknown number that matches that description, people should answer the phone and check their voicemails.

Officials may also try text messaging winners when they get closer to the 72-hour deadline, which will be the last attempt to get ahold of people.

Skeptical presumptive winners can call Washington's Lottery customer service at (360) 810-2888 to confirm they've been selected, according to Washington's Lottery Deputy Director Joshua Johnston.

For the $1 million prize, the state said alternate numbers were drawn in case the presumptive winner does not respond to outreach within 72 hours. 

Is the lottery increasing vaccination rates? 

The “Shot of a Lifetime” vaccine lottery was announced by Gov. Jay 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.

The state said that as of Tuesday, 4,123,601 Washingtonians 18 years old and up have at least initiated their vaccination. 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.

However, as of July 13, the state is just shy of the goal at 69.8%, according to the health department's website. The state's economy reopened on June 30 as vaccination efforts continue becoming more focused on mobile outreach, especially for parts of the population that were most impacted by the pandemic.

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.

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