Bethesda Resident Claims $40,000 VaxCash Prize

Retiree who enjoys painting received unexpected VaxCash call during online art class

An anonymous Montgomery County woman is the latest winner to claim a $40,000 prize in the $2 Million VaxCash Promotion. Selected in the June 15 drawing, the Bethesda resident became eligible after receiving a COVID-19 vaccination in March.

The lucky retiree said she received a call from a Maryland Department of Health representative while in the middle of an art class over Zoom, and had a hard time believing what she was hearing. The 61-year-old told Lottery officials that she knew about the VaxCash Promotion, but never thought it was possible that she could be selected as a winner.

Getting vaccinated against COVID-19 seemed like a dream until this past March, when the vaccines became more available and her age group became eligible. Encouraged by the rapid rollout, she and her husband each scheduled appointments at an area pharmacy.

The winner said receiving the vaccine allowed her and her husband to feel safe when running errands or helping the older residents in their corner of Bethesda.

“We live in this amazing neighborhood and everyone tends to look out for one another,” she said. “Now with the vaccine, we don’t have to worry about accidentally contracting the virus or infecting one of our older neighbors if we’re helping them with groceries or a medical issue.”

The Montgomery County retiree has transitioned from full-time work to a life full of creativity and art. Now working with a palette and brushes, she has been producing “meditation-style” watercolor paintings and is a regular participant in the Wheaton Arts Parade.

The winner explained that she plans to invest her $40,000 winnings, adding that she hopes to use some of the money to fund future studio and art costs.

The VaxCash Promotion, announced by Governor Larry Hogan on May 20, is a collaboration of the Maryland Lottery and the Maryland Department of Health, aimed at incentivizing Marylanders who have not yet received their COVID-19 vaccinations while rewarding those who have. All Maryland residents 18 and older who have received a COVID-19 shot at a non-Federal facility in Maryland at any time are automatically entered into daily drawings being held from May 25 through July 4.

Each day through July 3, one winner will receive a $40,000 prize, and the promotion culminates on the Fourth of July when one winner will receive a $400,000 prize.