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$1 million dollar vaccine lottery winner: who is the Oregon college student? What has she said?

Oregon Governor Kate Brown announced Friday that an Oregon State University student Chloe Zinda had won the state’s $1 million "Take Your Shot" lottery.

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$1 million dollar vaccine lottery winner: who is the Oregon college student? What has she said?
LEON LORD AFP

Oregon joined a number of states around the US in offering cash prizes and college scholarships to its residents to encourage them to get vaccinated. The state is ahead of the national average for the percentage of people vaccinated crossing the 70 percent milestone days before Fourth of July goal set by President Biden.

When presenting the $1 million check for the jackpot, Governor Kate Brown said she was “absolutely thrilled that more than 2.4 million Oregonians have gotten their first vaccination.” The state has set a new goal of vaccinating 80 percent of adults of color by the end of August and eventually 80% of all Oregonians who are adults. “That’s how we’ll finally put the pandemic behind us,” Oregon Health Authority Director Patrick Allen said.

Who is Chloe Zinda?

A fine arts student at Oregon State University, Chloe Zinda teaches swimming lessons part-time. She was selected from more than 2.2 million adults in Oregon who had received at least one dose of a covid-19 vaccine by 27 June. How she came to find out that she was a millionaire was “kind of a funny story,” she said.

Ms Zinda was at work when she received a call, which she missed, and then a text message the Oregon Health Authority. At first, she thought the message was some kind of scam, showing it to a co-worker and then sending it to her whole family asking “Is this a scam?” she later scheduled a call with the officials from the Oregon Health Authority.

Upon hearing the news at home Ms Zinda said “I was so shocked. I ran downstairs and was just screaming and running around. Yeah, it was insane.”

What does Oregon’s $1 million "Take Your Shot" jackpot winner plan to do with the money?

“I'm really excited for what the future holds,” Ms Zinda told the press. She plans to use the money to pay off her student debt and “pursue my dream as an artist.” Part of that dream is having her own business, she hopes to open an art studio. “This money is really going to life-changing for me,” she said.

Why did she get vaccinated?

Ms Zinda didn’t say whether she got vaccinated before or after the lottery was announced on 21 May but that there were many reasons behind her choice. One of those was keeping the children she teaches how to swim “safe and healthy.”

As for her message to Oregonians who are hesitant about getting vaccinated “I would say to Oregonians that getting the vaccine not only protects you, but will also protect your community, and so I recommend getting the vaccine. Just stay safe and healthy,” she said.