College Student Jumps for Joy Over $50,000 VaxCash 2.0 Prize

Ava Havrilko of Elkridge claimed her $50,000 VaxCash 2.0 promotion prize on April 15.

Towson University student selected in March 29 drawing

An Elkridge resident danced all the way to Lottery headquarters on April 15 to claim a $50,000 VaxCash 2.0 promotion prize from the March 29 drawing. Ava Havrilko, a 22-year-old Towson University student and dance team member, won the prize after being selected randomly from more than 2 million eligible Marylanders.

Ava qualified for the $50,000 prize after getting her COVID-19 vaccinations and boosters in Maryland. As a busy college senior, she said the vaccinations were just good precaution, since she comes in contact with a lot of people through her studies, her internship and her duties as a member of the Towson University Dance Team.

Becoming vaccinated also reduced her worries that she was exposing her family or colleagues to the virus. It may have minimized Ava’s symptoms as well since she eventually caught COVID-19.

“I think I had a fairly mild case because of my vaccinations,” she explained.

An added benefit to increasing Maryland vaccinations was the return to some of the things Ava looks forward to as part of her college experience, like performing and competing with the collegiate dance team.

Ava and the Towson University Dance Team just returned from their first National Championship competition in three years. Due to the pandemic, she last competed on the national level her freshman year.

As she was preparing for competition, Ava got a call informing her she had been selected as a VaxCash 2.0 $50,000 winner. Although she was initially in disbelief, her family quickly looked into the details to confirm the good news.

Ava said she doesn’t have any firm plans for the winnings, but her sisters have given her a lot of ideas.

“I’ve heard suggestions like buy a boat or put it in savings. I’m not sure what I will do with it,” she said.

For now, her focus is on completing her degrees in Business and Project Management, with a concentration in Supply Chain Management.

Ava is one of nine VaxCash 2.0 winners so far, and one of eight winners of $50,000. The promotion’s first drawing on Feb. 15 awarded a $500,000 prize to a Dundalk woman. Two more $50,000 prize drawings remain, and the final drawing on May 3 will award a grand prize of $1 million.

The VaxCash 2.0 promotion, which was announced by Governor Larry Hogan on Feb. 8, will award $2 million in cash prizes in weekly drawings from Feb. 15 through May 3. VaxCash 2.0 aims to incentivize Marylanders to get COVID-19 booster shots. All Maryland residents 18 and older who have received an initial shot(s) and a booster shot of the COVID-19 vaccine at eligible facilities in Maryland at any time are eligible to win. No registration or entry is needed.

VaxCash 2.0 follows last year’s successful collaboration between the Lottery and the Maryland Department of Health for the VaxCash Promotion that ran from May 25 through July 4, 2021, awarding $2 million in prizes to vaccinated Marylanders. For complete details about VaxCash 2.0, including the official rules and a list of frequently asked questions, visit the VaxCash 2.0 page.