‘Even the little guy can win,’ says fourth COVID lottery winner

Yet another weekly $250,000 Washington state vaccine lottery winner has been named. And once again, most of us didn’t win.

Stephen T., of Walla Walla, was this week’s Shot of a Lifetime drawing winner, and he said he almost didn’t return the state’s call.

Stephen, a married father of one who works in the food service industry, said in a statement that he was at a managers’ meeting when a call came in from a 253 area code that said “Fife” on Caller ID.

No one in the room knew anyone from the Pierce County city, so he let it go to voicemail.

When the meeting was over, Stephen played the voicemail while still in the room. Three of his colleagues said it was a scam. One told him to call back, just in case.

“I’m sure glad I did!” he said. “I called the main Lottery number, and they told me it was really real. I didn’t believe it at first and still kind of don’t, but I think it’s great that the state is doing this, because it really helps give people another big reason to get their shots. I just hope more and more people get vaccinated because it’s really important.”

“My wife and I never gamble, never bet, but this just proves that even the little guy can win sometimes,” he said.

At the beginning of June, Gov. Jay Inslee announced that the state would give out more than $2 million in prizes to vaccinated Washingtonians to incentivize the shots.

The previous $250,000 prize winners were identified by the state as Dillon T., Lance R. and nursing student Marissa P., who appeared with Inslee at the lottery announcement last week.

The cash prizes are the largest awards in an incentive package that also includes tuition money for students, tickets for air travel and sporting events, and other prizes.

Of the 247 prizes offered in this week’s drawing for adults, 126 had been claimed as of noon on Thursday. They wereare: one $250,000 cash prize, 44 Microsoft Xboxes, three Nintendo Switch packs, nine Amazon Echo Dots, 53 Discover Passes, 10 Washington State Parks camping gift cards, and six Department of Fish and Wildlife Wild Bucks vouchers.

There are no drawings next week. The $1 million prize will be drawn on July 13 and the drawing for veterans who got shots or the Department of Defense will be on July 20.