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Governor Beshear announces the latest Shot at a Million sweepstakes winners

Published: Jul. 30, 2021 at 12:35 PM EDT|Updated: Jul. 30, 2021 at 4:32 PM EDT
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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WYMT) - Governor Andy Beshear held his second of three news conferences today, congratulating the second round of winners in the state’s Shot at a Million vaccine incentive sweepstakes.

“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.”

You can watch the news conference here:

The $1 million winner in Friday’s drawing was Louisville resident Ginger Schultz. She was at the Capitol Friday along with her husband Michael Essen.

Like last month’s winner, Schultz also got vaccinated before the contest started. Several of the winners said they did as well.

“I have never experienced anything like this. It’s shocking because you don’t really think you’re going to win,” said 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 Essen. “I really believe getting vaccinated is what we have to do to get out of this tough situation.”

Five Kentucky students were also selected for full scholarships: Shelby Anderson of Louisville, Isabella Brozak of Crestwood, TJ Ponder or Owenton, Reese Johnson of Harrodsburg, and Julian Sandburg of Fort Mitchell.

“I got the vaccine about a couple of months before I heard about the Shot at a Million,” said Johnson. “I got it to protect not just myself but the communities and those around me.”

“And when I got the vaccine, I just wanted my life to be normal again, and I wanted to see my friends,” said Sandberg.

The governor said the latest guidance from the CDC is now showing the vaccine isn’t enough. He says that’s why he’s issuing strong recommendations for everyone, vaccinated or not, to mask up when indoors.

“But what we know now is the breakthrough cases of the Delta Variant have such a high viral load you may be able to spread it as easily as someone who is not vaccinated,” Gov. Beshear said.

Last month’s winner was from Lexington while Friday’s is from Louisville. The scholarship winners are from all over the state. The Governor insists that the drawings are totally random done through a number of steps.

“We film the whole process, so we know its integrity is there. Our lawyers are there on it each time. We believe it’s as random as any drawing that is out there,” the governor said.

The third and final drawing will be on August 26, with the winners revealed the next day on August 27. Anyone who has not yet won is eligible for the final drawing.

More than 692,000 Kentuckians have signed up for the drawings and near 41,000 have signed up for scholarships.

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