Today, Gov. Andy Beshear congratulated the second set of winners in Kentucky’s Shot at a Million sweepstakes, the state’s vaccine incentive program to encourage Kentuckians to get vaccinated against COVID-19.
“Congratulations to all of our winners! When you’re the Governor you get to do a lot interesting things, but getting to tell folks they just won a million dollars or that their kid’s education is taken care of, that’s pretty high on the list of duties I look forward to,” said Gov. Beshear. “Now, with the delta variant surging, it’s more important than ever that we talk about why we’re doing this drawing in the first place. We did it to encourage everyone to get vaccinated. Everyone eligible should sign up for a vaccine and the remaining drawing as soon as possible.”
The Governor said the second drawing was conducted Thursday, randomly selecting one adult Kentuckian for the $1 million prize and five youth to receive full-ride scholarships to a Kentucky public college, university, technical or trade school.
Julian Sandberg of Fort Mitchell was one of five teens to win the scholarship.
The winner of the $1 million prize is Ginger Schultz from Louisville. Ginger’s husband, Michael Essen, also attended the news conference Friday.
“I have never experienced anything like this. It’s shocking because you don’t really think you’re going to win,” said Ginger Schultz. “Why take a chance at getting very sick and possibly die or even passing it on to someone else? That’s what my main concern was. My mom is 85 and she has breathing issues and I have always been very concerned about her getting it or me passing it on to her.”
“The reason we got vaccinated was because it was the right thing to do to protect ourselves and the people around us,” said Michael Essen. “I really believe getting vaccinated is what we have to do to get out of this tough situation.”
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The five Kentucky youth selected for full scholarships are:
Shelby Anderson of Louisville
Isabella Brozak of Crestwood
TJ Ponder of Owenton
Reese Johnson of Harrodsburg
Julian Sandberg of Fort Mitchell
Julian Sandberg, the son of Maria Sanders and Kal Steinberg, and grandson of Shirley and Robert Sanders, said: “I'd like to thank Gov. Beshear for this crazy opportunity and my parents for helping me get the vaccine. When kids my age were able to receive the vaccine, I got mine as soon as I could because I wanted my life to be normal again and to see my friends. Now the fact that I won this huge scholarship is completely surreal. I hope everybody gets vaccinated soon so that the school year goes well, and no one has to worry about COVID anymore.”
His mother, Maria, said: “The real prize here comes from the vaccine itself – freedom from anxiety and the ability to reclaim our lives from COVID. And now Julian's college education is paid for. It's icing on the cake. We can't believe our good fortune. I hope folks realize that scientists blessed us all with a miracle, and by saying yes to the vaccine, we move our state and country forward.”
His father, Kal, said: “Relief from the pressure of paying for college feels like an incredible burden has been lifted. Knowing that Julian won't have to take on student loans, and that Maria and I can breathe a bit – it's truly a gift. I'm amazed that this reward comes simply from having him vaccinated – something we jumped at the chance to do anyway because it was the right thing to do. Thank you to Gov. Beshear for always prioritizing the health of Kentuckians and for looking out for kids like Julian.”
Vaccinated Kentuckians still have one more chance to become a millionaire or a scholarship winner. The remaining incentive drawing will take place Aug. 26, with one millionaire and five scholarship recipients announced the following day. Those who have not won remain eligible for the final drawing.
Gov. Beshear initially announced the Shot at a Million sweepstakes June 4. Since then, more than 692,000 adult Kentuckians and more than 40,900 youth have signed up for the sweepstakes.
Permanent residents of Kentucky can enter to win at shotatamillion.ky.gov, if they have received at least the first dose of the Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccines or the one-dose Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine.
$1 million: Kentuckians 18 and older who have received at least their first dose of a Moderna or Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, or the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine, may enter to win one of three $1 million prizes.
Full Scholarship: Kentuckians 12 to 17 years old who have received at least their first dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine may enter to win one of 15 full scholarships to a Kentucky public college, university, technical or trade school, which includes tuition, room-and-board and books.
For more information, official rules and to enter, visit shotatamillion.ky.gov.