> Video above: Meet the winner of Colorado's first COVID vaccine sweepstakes drawing.
Ward, who lives in Littleton, appeared at the announcement with her husband and son and daughter.
“It is my honor to be Colorado’s second comeback cash winner. Initially, my family wasn’t in agreement with getting the COVID vaccine. But we weighed the risks and benefits and ultimately, we decided the benefits outweighed any fears that we had,” said Ward. “COVID is a very real thing and for myself and a lot of people, we’ve all had losses over this past year and time lost that we can’t take back with our loved ones. Our hope in getting the COVID-19 vaccine is to get back to normalcy and protect our loved ones.”
Ward said her family got vaccinated together. Ward said the hardest part for her during the pandemic was not being able to see her mother. She said getting the vaccine allowed her to see her mom after 14 months apart.
Ward said she and her husband worked two jobs to provide for their family. She said she plans to use the winnings to pay her children's college tuition, pay off debt and she said she'll invest some of the money.
The Colorado Lottery is holding five drawings between June 4 and July 7. Anyone 18 and older who is a Colorado resident and has received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine will be automatically entered. You can check if your record is in the Colorado Immunization Information System (CIIS) here.
"The odds of me and my family being given $1 million overnight seemed impossibly small," Sliger said at a news conference Friday at the Governor's Residence. "Even with this winning, I’m still having a hard time believing our luck of the draw."
“I don’t really recall that few minutes of my life," Sliger said.
She said that she received a text from the state health department to call back about the contest.
"I believe she said that I was a potential winner if I met the eligibility criteria," Sliger said.
She suspected some funny business, but the phone number said it was, indeed, the state health department.
The first five winners of Colorado’s Comeback Cash Scholarship Drawing were announced Thursday morning.
Each of the five winners will receive a $50,000 scholarship as part of a public health initiative to increase COVID-19 vaccination rates. This particular program is geared toward youth between the ages of 12 and 17.
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