Coronavirus

A grandmother from Louisville is Kentucky’s latest millionaire after winning the state’s COVID-19 vaccine sweepstakes. 

Governor Andy Beshear announced Friday afternoon that Mary Mattingly was the third and final winner of the Shot at a Million initiative. Mattingly and her husband, Charlie, were traveling in South Dakota when they were told about their win. Beshear shared a short video of that initial call to Mattingly.

“I don’t deserve it more than anyone else who tries to do the right thing and has gotten vaccinated and has worn a mask and has social distanced, but I’ll accept it,” Mattingly said in the video. “I have four of the most beautiful grandchildren in the world, and of course they were part of my motivation in getting my vaccination just as soon as I possibly could.”

In a pre-recorded follow up video, Mattingly also encouraged all Kentuckians to get vaccinated against the virus.

“The vaccines cannot stop every case, but they can greatly reduce your chances of acquiring a serious, long-term or fatal case of COVID-19,” she said.

Beshear also announced five new winners under the age of 18 who received a full-ride scholarship to any state university, which includes room-and-board and books. In total, Kentucky’s Shot at a Million program has given out fifteen such scholarships and three prizes of a million dollars cash.

The program was launched in early June in an effort to boost the state’s vaccination rate. That rate has risen from 47 percent to 56 percent in the three months since the program was announced.

Beshear said Thursday that Kentucky’s current COVID-19 numbers underscore why the initiative was necessary. According to state data, 2,115 residents were hospitalized because of the virus. Hospitalizations have increased every day for the last 43 days.

Roberto Roldan is the City Politics and Government Reporter for WFPL.