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Winner of $250,000 in Washington's third vaccine lottery says she was 'shocked'

Marissa P. of Spokane is studying to become a nurse and said she feels "blessed" to have won the lottery. She encouraged others to get vaccinated against COVID-19.

OLYMPIA, Wash. — The winner of $250,000 in Washington state's third "Shot of a Lifetime" COVID-19 vaccine lottery says she was "shocked" to learn she won. 

Marissa P. of Spokane is a pre-nursing student at Washington State University, and is in the process of formally applying to nursing programs. 

Gov. Jay Inslee presented Marissa with the check for $250,000 during a press conference Thursday, saying she is a "tremendous leader" in the fight against COVID-19. 

"It is an act of leadership," said Inslee referring to getting vaccinated against the virus, "The longer I'm at this work I understand we can all be leaders, we can all influence each other, we can encourage each other and it's particularly wonderful that the latest winner of the 'Shot of a Lifetime' award is a young leader from Spokane. I couldn't think of a more perfect person." 

Marissa spoke briefly at the press conference, saying, "I am so honored to be here and I feel so blessed to be here. I just want to say, stay healthy and stay safe, and go get vaccinated." 

Marissa issued a statement after the announcement that said, "As you can probably imagine, I was shocked when I got the call from the Lottery and even more shocked when they told me that I’d won the $250,000 prize. I’m still amazed that it’s real and feel very blessed. I’m grateful to the State, to Governor Inslee, to the Department of Health and to the Lottery for creating this program, and for helping make sure as many people as possible get their COVID-19 vaccination. As a pre-nursing student, I am deeply concerned about the health and wellbeing of all people, and I strongly encourage everyone who hasn’t yet taken the time to get their shots to please do so. These vaccines help protect you and others, and getting ourselves vaccinated will ultimately help our entire community."

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Of the 256 prizes available in this week's drawing for adults, 139 have been awarded as of noon on Thursday, according to officials with Washington's Lottery. Some of the prizes include one set of two round-trip Alaska Airlines travel vouchers, 47 Microsoft Xboxes, four Nintendo Switch packs, seven Amazon Echo Dots, 52 Discover Passes, and 13 Washington State Parks camping gift cards.

Of the 15 prizes available in this week’s drawing for youth, six have been awarded as of noon Thursday. Each winner will receive 100 Washington Guaranteed Education Tuition (GET) Units, which is equivalent to one year of resident, undergraduate tuition and state-mandated fees at Washington’s public universities.

Washington Lottery officials said outreach to both youth and adults whose numbers were drawn this week will continue in an effort to ensure that as many prizes as possible are claimed.