Ellensburg veteran wins $100,000 in vaccine lottery

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Eugene Hoshiko

ELLENSBURG, Wash. — A veteran living in Ellensburg just became $100,000 richer thanks to Washington’s vaccine lottery. 

Mark W, a former Coast Guardsman, won the first prize in the state’s vaccination appreciation promotion, “A Heroes Thanks.” 

“I’ve always joked with friends that I’d have a better chance of winning the Lottery if I played, and I guess getting my COVID shot was my winning ticket this time around,” he said. “I feel very blessed, and I’m so thankful that these drawings are happening for veterans and service members, because no one, especially those who have served, should be left out of an opportunity like this.”

Mark works as a general contractor and was working when he received the call about his win. 

“I got goosebumps all over my body when she told me I’d won. The Lottery had sent me an email the day before and left me a voicemail on my phone, too, but I wasn’t sure it was true, but then started seeing stories about it and realized this might be the real deal, so my advice to anyone who gets a call like that is to call them back because you might just be the next winner.” 

Of the 11 winners in the most recent drawing, seven received their vaccines at health care facilities associated with the Department of Veterans Affairs. The other four winners opted into the drawing after receiving their shots from a Department of Defense health care facility. 

The next “A Heroes Thanks” drawing will happen Tuesday, July 27. 

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