Mother of three is North Carolina’s first $1M vaccine lottery winner

COVID-19 Vaccine

External auditor Zachary Giles, middle, and information security manager Jorge Alfonso, right, stand next to lottery drawing machines as they await the start of the NC DHHS $1 million vaccine Summer Drawings and Summer Cash 4 College lottery drawings at the NC Education Lottery building in Raleigh, N.C. on Wednesday, June 23, 2021.

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Gov. Roy Cooper announced a mother of three from Winston-Salem is the state’s first $1 million vaccine lottery winner.

Shelly Wyramon, who works as a teacher, was present Monday when Cooper announced she had won.

The governor said Wyramon, didn’t believe she had won when the state health department called her. It was only when she got on a video call with NCDHHS Sec. Mandy Cohen when she finally believe it.

“Obviously I was overwhelmed. Not believing it – I still don’t believe it,” she said. “Who believe you’re doing to win $1 million?”

Wyramon, said her family is still in shock.

Cooper joked that Wyramon,’s children’s allowance may go up now.

Wyramon, said she and her husband were vaccinated to help protect their aging parents.

“I got vaccinated because I wanted to be able to spend more time with my family, extended family, and honestly, it terrified me I might spread that,” she said.

Vania Martinez, 14, was also announced as the first to win $125,000 for post-secondary education at a university of her choice.

Martinez said she is working a summer job to save for college.

“I knew it would be hard for my mom to pay for me to go to college, so I started saving the money I make at my summer job,” said Martinez. “Now I know for sure I’ll have money to pay for college and this means a lot to my mom and me.”

The recent loss of loved ones from COVID-19 and seeing others struggle as they recover from the virus moved Martinez to get vaccinated soon after she became eligible.

“I saw information about teens being eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine at Independence Mall and went home to research it more,” said Martinez. “I went back to the mall with my mom because I wanted to get my shot and I convinced her to get vaccinated too.

The winners were chosen with a random number generator, and three more drawings will be held through early August.

CBS 17’s Bridget Chapman asked Cohen if the lottery has helped increase the number of North Carolinians being vaccinated.

Cohen said so far, it has helped level the numbers, but they are still working to get a larger bump in numbers.

The first drawing for the Summer Cash Drawing and Summer Cash 4 College Drawing was held on Wednesday. The winners from that drawing will be announced Monday at 10 a.m.

The vaccine lottery is part of the state’s campaign to encourage people to get their COVID-19 vaccination.

Anyone age 18 or older who has received at least one dose of the vaccine is automatically entered to win. Individuals under 18 are entered to win $125,000 for post-secondary education.

People who got their shot on or after June 10 will be entered twice.

Winners for the $4 Million Summer Cash and Summer Cash 4 College Drawings will be drawn every other Wednesday through August 4.

Each COVID-19 vaccination record in the state has been assigned a unique number. The North Carolina Education Lottery will use a randomized number generator to select the winning number and 20 alternate winning numbers for each drawing.

If you’re a winner, you will be called or emailed. You then have 48 hours to accept the prize. The winner will be posted to this website. You can also click that link to find out more information on the lottery.

The vaccine payments are coming from the North Carolina Department of Health And Human Services, but it needed the lottery to help because that agency has the equipment, expertise and experience in determining lottery winners. 

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


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