Woman Discovers She Won $1 Million in a COVID-19 Vaccine Lottery While Hoping to Get a New Car

Junie Sihlangu
May 28, 2021
10:10 A.M.

Ohio created a lottery to encourage the increase in people getting COVID-19 vaccinations. One resident, a woman, recently won a whopping $1 million and shared what she would do with it.


A young woman recently became the first big winner of Ohio’s COVID-19 vaccine lottery. On Thursday, the Ohio Lottery took to Twitter to announce Abbey Bugenske, 22, as the Vax-A-Million lottery winner.

The other big winner was Joseph Costello, 14, of Englewood. He won himself a four-year scholarship to any Ohio college he chooses, but he said he didn’t know what he would be studying.

Three lottery balls with different numbers on them | Photo: Pixabay/Alejandro Garay

Three lottery balls with different numbers on them | Photo: Pixabay/Alejandro Garay

However, Costello revealed that he’d probably choose to study at Ohio State University or Miami University in Ohio. Bugenske shared how she’d woken up on Wednesday wishing she had a new car.

Little did she know that she would win enough money to make her dream a reality. The Silverton resident had recently taken the COVID-19 vaccine shot to protect her friends and family.


She got vaccinated before the lottery winner was announced. Bugenske explained how pro-vaccines she was as they’d always been a part of her medical history, and she was quick to choose to get the COVID-19 one, stating:

“I would encourage anyone to get the vaccine. If winning $1 million isn’t enough, I don’t know what would be.”


Bugenske was just starting a four-hour drive to Cleveland to see her parents when her phone rang with Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine on the other end. He had called to surprise her with news that she’d just become a millionaire.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo said winners could get $5 million!

The new winner doesn’t yet know exactly how she will spend the money, but some of it will be donated, and she will also get the new car she wanted. She figured that she’d invested the rest of it.


The state set up the Vax-A-Million lottery in an effort to boost COVID-19 vaccination rates. Entrants stand a chance to win either $1 million or full-ride college scholarships for 12 to 17-year-olds.

The lottery is giving out $4 million in prizes, and the next winners will be announced on Memorial Day. Health officials said almost 2.8 million residents have already gotten immunized and entered the lottery.


Joining Ohio on Thursday, New York and Maryland both announced that they were also creating lotteries for people who get vaccinated against the coronavirus. Gov. Andrew Cuomo said winners could get $5 million!

On the same day, California’s Gov. Gavin Newsom also revealed that they were offering the same vaccine lottery to incentivize getting the vaccine. Their single prize draw will be $1.5 million.

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We at news.AmoMama.com do our best to give you the most updated news regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, but the situation is constantly changing. We encourage readers to refer to the online updates from CDС, WHO, or Local Health Departments to stay updated.Take care!

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