Lotto good times for winners of Philadelphia Vax sweepstakes

(City of Philadelphia)

(City of Philadelphia)

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Another round of winners has been announced in Philadelphia’s vaccine lottery, with one more drawing and a new key target neighborhood.

Acting Health Commissioner Dr. Cheryl Bettigole said there were two $50,000, four $5,000, and six $1,000 winners in the second round of the Philly Vax Sweepstakes. None of the big winners wanted to be identified, though one did issue a statement:

“Disbelief, excitement, and elation are all emotions I feel after winning the Philly Vax Sweepstakes. I also want to acknowledge the challenges that Philadelphians faced this year — seeing businesses suffer, lives lost, and families try to put back the pieces together after a devastating year, emotionally and financially. I would give this all back if it meant we could have prevented the pandemic. Winning is a huge gift for me, and I plan on paying off almost all of my student loans, giving back to the community, and using the money to reunite with my family after almost two years and take them all out to celebrate.”

The big winner from the 19133 ZIP code is a 33-year-old woman who lives with her four children in North Philadelphia. She works as a home health aide and wants to use her money to purchase a house. She decided to get a vaccine because, in her words, “Everyone was getting sick, so I knew I wanted to get a vaccine.” She did her research before making the final decision, and now says everyone should go out and get the shot.

Bettigole said she is hopeful “that we learn from places like Missouri and Mississippi that are seeing big waves of infection right now, and that we take advantage of the miracle of science that these vaccines really are.”

She also hopes that, with eligibility for the third round of the sweepstakes ending on Sunday, there will be a flood of people heading out this weekend to be vaccinated.

The city is not using taxpayer dollars for funding the vaccine sweepstakes — it is working with the University of Pennsylvania, which is also doing research on the effectiveness of using the drawings as an incentive.

The final drawing will come Monday, with half the prizes being targeted for the 19142 ZIP code and the rest for those who have been vaccinated throughout the city.

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