CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) — Governor Jim Justice welcomed West Virginians to the State Capitol on Sunday to celebrate the state’s 158th birthday and to announce the first round of winners in the “Do it for Babydog: Save a Life, Change Your Life” vaccination sweepstakes.
“And that’s why we picked today. It seemed like a wonderful, wonderful opportunity. It’s the state’s birthday and Father’s Day. I don’t know how it could be much better” said Governor Justice.
The governor was joined by his furry friend Babydog, the official mascot of the sweepstakes.
“Everything that we can do. Even the little stuff and doing it for Babydog, that may be silly and everything, but somebody is going to come and get vaccinated and that could save a life” said Justice.
There were dozens of prizes given out on Sunday, including two college scholarships awarded to Rebecca Osborne from Hurricane and Elizabeth Ball from Nitro.
“I don’t want to be Ohio, and I don’t want to be Kentucky or Pennsylvania. I want to be better, and every day that’s what we try to do” said Justice.
Other prizes included lifetime fishing and hunting licenses, custom guns and rifles, trucks, and best of all, the vaccination lottery’s first-ever million-dollar winner.
“I am shaky. Excited, but you know I just really don’t know how to answer your question,” said Karen Foley, million-dollar winner.
The grand lottery winner, Karen Foley from Mineral Wells, was so overwhelmed from the whole experience that she could not even put into words how she felt. She claims she had a lucky feeling she was going to win.
“Actually, my dad reminded me of the lottery a couple of weeks ago when I was there, and he gave me the phone number and told me to register. And I said, ‘you know if I do that, I’m going to win a million dollars.’ He goes, ‘Yeah, right,’” said Foley.
And this means even more to Karen since it’s Father’s Day.
“I’m headed there for Father’s Day after this, so I get to show my dad this,” said Foley.
Karen and many others who have gotten vaccinated and participated in the sweepstakes show a strong initiative to keep the state-protected during the pandemic.
“I think it’s going to help more people get vaccinated…hopefully,” said Foley.
More lottery drawings will be held every week through August 4th, and all of them will feature all of the same prizes that were awarded today. The final drawing will also include a $1,588,000 grand prize and a $588,000 second prize.