The Alaska Chamber announced the week six lottery winners Thursday, as part of the “Give AK a Shot” COVID-19 vaccine incentive program.
Leo Roehl of Dillingham won this week’s adult $49,000 pool, and Katelyn Behymer in Anchorage was awarded a $49,000 scholarship administered as an Alaska 529 savings plan.
“Give AK a Shot” awards one newly vaccinated adult resident — 18 and up — $49,000 cash, and one newly vaccinated child resident — 12 to 17 years old — a $49,000 scholarship in an Alaska 529 education savings plan. If the child’s guardian is also vaccinated, they are eligible to win another $10,000 in cash.
The campaign, which is funded through the federal CARES act, only lasts for another nine days.
Tiffany Albert, the director of communications at the Alaska Chamber, said Thursday more than 20,000 Alaskans have received at least their first vaccine dose since the program launched on Sept. 2. She said of those newly vaccinated, 7,789 — less than 40% — have entered the sweepstakes program.
Albert emphasized that the recently vaccinated person has to register for the lottery program themselves — it’s not an automatic enrollment.
Roehl said he got vaccinated to do his part in protecting himself and other vulnerable members of his community.
“Get it done,” he said. “Protect us all, protect our elders and our grandchildren.”
Roehl said he plans on using the sweepstakes money to help him move out of Dillingham and to an area with more accessible health care.
“I have some health issues — mental, physical and emotional — so we need to move someplace where I can get those things taken care of,” he said. “So this will be a pretty nice little nest egg.”
Behymer won a $49,000 scholarship and her mom Renee Behymer was also the recipient of $10,000 cash after getting vaccinated during week five.
She’s the youngest winner so far — a newly eligible 12-year-old. She said she got vaccinated so she could feel safer in public, and plans to use the scholarship to help her become a teacher or a soccer coach.
Behymer’s mom said she chose to get vaccinated to try to help ease the strain on health care workers.
“My sister-in-laws are both doctors and they’re gone through a lot through all of this,” she said. “So that’s one of the reasons it’s really important to us is we want to ease their pain.”
To enter the incentive sweepstakes, participants must register with vaccine and personal information — including name, vaccination date and vaccination location — at giveakashot.com. People are only eligible for the incentive prizes during the week they are vaccinated.
The seventh round of winners will be announced on Oct. 28. The last drawing is on Nov. 4.
Alaskans vaccinated before Sept. 2 can still enter to win for their one-time lottery drawing any time before Oct. 30.
For more information visit giveakashot.com.
Getting a COVID vaccine
COVID-19 vaccines do not cost money.
Many different organizations on the central peninsula, including pharmacies in Walmart and Walgreens, and the Kenai Fire Department offer vaccines. They are also available for both residents and visitors at airports in Anchorage, Juneau and Fairbanks.
Additionally, Soldotna Professional Pharmacy hosts a walk-in clinic in its strip mall storefront at the “Y” intersection of the Sterling and Kenai Spur highways Monday through Friday from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Vaccination appointments can also be scheduled through the online portal PrepMod, which can be accessed at myhealth.alaska.gov.
A map of vaccine providers can be found on DHSS’ COVID-19 vaccine website at covidvax.alaska.gov.
People who would like assistance with scheduling a vaccination appointment can call the Kenai Peninsula Borough Office of Emergency Management call center. The center operates Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to noon. The central peninsula call center can be reached at 907-262-4636. The Homer call center can be reached at 907-235-4636. The Seward call center can be reached at 907-224-4636.