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Marysville veteran wins $100,000 prize in military COVID-19 vaccine lottery

The veteran received his COVID-19 vaccine from the Seattle VA Medical Center.

MARYSVILLE, Wash. — An Army veteran from Marysville won the $100,000 grand prize in this week’s drawing of the state’s military vaccine lottery.

Carmen S., who volunteered for the Vietnam War in 1968, served in both Infantry and Artillery roles. He received his COVID-19 vaccine at the Seattle VA Medical Center.

“I volunteered for the Army to serve the good people of this country, and I’m very thankful that a program like this exists today to help recognize those who have served. I’m overwhelmed and still pinching myself that I won,” Carmen said in a statement.

As of 9 a.m. Thursday, three $250 Amazon gift cards and four $100 State Parks gift cards had been claimed, leaving three additional prizes still unclaimed.

“A Heroes Thanks,” the state’s vaccine lottery incentive for military members, their families and veterans, had its first drawing on July 20 with a former Coast Guardsman from Ellensburg taking home the $100,000 award.

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The lottery was created after military members were not included in the state’s original vaccine lottery, which just announced its $1 million grand prize winner in early July.

The issue was caused by a lack of vaccination data sharing between the state and the federal government.

The issue was eventually worked out, but those Washingtonians who got their shot through the Department of Defense still have to go to the online portal to opt-in for the lottery.

The deadline to opt-in for the next drawing on Tuesday is 6:59 a.m. on Monday, Aug. 3. The next drawing will be for the grand prize of $250,000.

The state’s vaccination rate for eligible residents sits at 67%.

On Wednesday, the state announced that it was following guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention by recommending universal masking in indoor public spaces regardless of vaccination status for most counties with case counts rising due to the more transmissible delta variant.

Health officials continue to urge everyone that can to get the vaccine to curb the rising numbers. On Wednesday, Gov. Jay Inslee suggested the state may create more vaccine initiatives in the coming weeks but did not provide further details.