Lexington couple wins first $1 million ‘shot,’ scholarship winner from Mt. Sterling

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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ) – Excitement was in the air Friday as six lucky Kentuckians head into the holiday weekend as the first winners of the state’s vaccine lottery.

A Lexington woman is one million dollars richer after winning the first round of the Kentucky vaccine lottery.

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Also, five lucky students now have a full-ride scholarship to any in-state college.

“I didn’t even know that I was going to be here because my mom kinda just signed me up,” Jalen Crudup, a high school senior from Elizabethtown, said.

Crudup has the same story as several of the winners; they didn’t know they even were signed up.

“I didn’t even know my mom entered me in – big shocker,” Crystal Frost, a high school senior from Crestwood, said.

They also all said they got the vaccine before the contest even started, including the youngest winner, a 12-year-old from Louisville.

“I wanted to go see my grandparents and other people that it just made me feel more safe,” Alex VonderHaar said.

The students say the opportunities ahead are even more accessible.

“Crazy to think about I can now go to nursing school and give back to the community by just getting the vaccine and I get to go for free now,” Adison Sullenger, a high school senior from Princeton, said.

Governor Beshear played a video showing the moments leading up to the announcement that Patricia Short won the million-dollar-jackpot.

She was shocked.

Short once shared her troubles receiving unemployment on tv; now she’s the first winner of the shot at a million.

“Keep registering. Get online,” Short said. “I did it. It happened. It’s real. I’m still numb. Y’all get vaccinated. That’s the important thing.”

Beshear said more than two million Kentuckians have gotten their dose, and since the lottery was announced in early June, more than 121,000 people got the vaccine.

Who knows – You could be next.

To sign up, click here.

ORIGINAL STORY BELOW:

FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ) – A Lexington woman and Mt. Sterling student are among the first six winners in Kentucky’s Shot at a Million drawings, the state’s incentive program to encourage Kentuckians to get vaccinated against COVID-19.

“Congratulations to the winners! Their prizes are life-changing, and that’s on top of the COVID-19 vaccines, which we know are lifesaving,” Gov. Andy Beshear said Friday during a press conference to unveil the winners. “Please, get your vaccination as quickly as possible. If there are people in your life who might need some encouragement, tell them about your experience and then encourage them to sign up for their Shot at a Million.”

The Governor said the first drawing, which included more than 608,000 entries, 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.

All six winners attended Friday’s news conference held in the Capitol Rotunda.

The winner of the $1 million prize is Patricia Short from Lexington. Patricia’s husband, Gary, also attended the news conference Friday.

“We were on our way to Florida when COVID hit, and we just wanted to get home. They were talking about how great Kentucky was doing all over because of our Governor,” said Patricia Short. “We are firm believers that we have to do it – please get vaccinated. Our kids have got to be vaccinated, too, or it’s not going to work.”

“We were some of the first to get the vaccine. We took it without being told we could win $1 million,” said Gary Short.

Speaking about his wife’s Shot at a Million win, he added, “This happens in the movies, and now it happens in Kentucky. I hope it makes 1 million more people get vaccinated.”

The five Kentucky youth selected for full scholarships are:

  • Jalen Crudup from Elizabethtown
  • Crystal Frost from Crestwood
  • Tyler Henson from Mt. Sterling
  • Adison Sullenger from Princeton
  • Alex VonderHaar from Louisville

Jalen Crudup, who was joined by his parents, Shelma and Kerry Crudup, said, “I would like to thank everyone for letting this happen and my mom for signing me up. I would like to encourage everyone to get vaccinated.”

His mom, Shelma, added, “We’re forever grateful for this opportunity. Thank you to Gov. Andy Beshear, his team and the state of Kentucky.”

Crystal Frost, who was joined by her parents, Chris and Laura Frost, said, “Wow, I feel so lucky.”

Her dad, Chris, said: “Winning this scholarship means a lot. Having a senior, we are just starting the college process and this award will allow Crystal to explore options further from home – but not too far for her mom, who is glad she will be staying in state. Winning this scholarship gives our family the flexibility of not having to wonder where the money is going to come from to send Crystal to college and opens up how we will look at choosing a college.”

Tyler Henson and his mother, Katie, father, Brad, twin, Aden, and brother, Nolan, attended the news conference along with Tyler’s grandparents, Margie and Paul Purdon.

Tyler’s parents said: “As parents of twins, we have had double expenses for just about everything. Tyler receiving this scholarship will relieve the burden of having two in college at the same time and give us the opportunity to support both Tyler and Aden in receiving a higher education.”

Adison Sullenger, who was in attendance with her parents, David and Wendy Sullenger, said: “Thank you for this opportunity. Standing here today I am really glad I did the right thing to not only protect myself but also my friends and family.”

Alex VonderHaar, the son of Deek and Colleen VonderHaar, said, “I want to thank everybody for helping me getting the vaccine, especially Dr. Allgeier. This is a great opportunity. I did not think I was going to get a scholarship, especially going into 7th grade, so thank you everybody.”

His father, Deek, added: “We would like to thank Gov. Beshear and his entire team for putting this together. This is an exciting opportunity for 15 rising collegiate students. This is going to make a real difference for our family, and I am sure many others, by doing the right thing and getting vaccinated.”

Vaccinated Kentuckians still have two more chances to become millionaires or scholarship winners.

Since the deadline to enter for the first drawing, Wednesday, June 30, at 11:59 p.m., more than 35,000 Kentuckians have entered for the next two drawings.

The remaining incentive drawings will take place July 29 and Aug. 26, with one millionaire and five scholarship recipients announced the day following each drawing. Those who did not win in the first drawing remain eligible for the final two drawings.

Gov. Beshear initially announced the Shot at a Million drawing June 4. Since then, more than 121,700 Kentuckians have received a COVID-19 vaccine.

Permanent residents of Kentucky can enter to win the following prizes at shotatamillion.ky.gov:

  • $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 the remaining two $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 the remaining 10 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.