Individuals from Baltimore and Carroll counties were among four people who came forward to accept the $40,000 lottery prize given randomly to residents who have received a coronavirus vaccine in Maryland, the Maryland Lottery announced Tuesday.
Deidre Poore Eagan, a grocery store employee of Towson, claimed her cash prize on Tuesday after her number was called from a May 27 drawing.
“I’m around people all day at work, so I got vaccinated because I didn’t want to chance bringing something home that would make my husband sick,” said Eagan, 55, in the Maryland Lottery release.
In addition, three $40,000 winners who were selected during Memorial Day weekend claimed their prizes Tuesday. The May 29 winner from Montgomery County, the May 30 winner from Prince George’s County and the May 31 winner from Carroll County accepted their prizes, and all chose to remain anonymous.
Using vaccination records, the health department assigns numbers randomly to people who’ve been vaccinated in the state and the winners are picked from a random number generator. Eagan is the first winner to be identified in the state. However, winners can remain anonymous if they choose, according to the Maryland Lottery.
The VaxCash Promotion, announced by Gov. Larry Hogan on May 20, is Maryland’s latest effort to encourage people to get vaccinated. Any Maryland resident 18 or older who received a coronavirus vaccine shot in the state at any point will be entered automatically to win the prizes, including individuals with one vaccine shot.
“You get the shot today, tomorrow you’ll be entered into the drawing. We’ll do it that fast,” Hogan said in a news conference last month.
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The lottery will draw one winner a day through July 3, for a $40,000 prize, leading up to a grand prize on Fourth of July of $400,000.