Towson University Healthcare Worker Claims $40,000 VaxCash Prize

Bryan Schlein of Towson claimed a $40,000 prize as the June 5 winner in the $2 Million VaxCash Promotion.

COVID-19 testing coordinator encourages others to get vaccinated

The Maryland Lottery has awarded a $40,000 prize in the $2 Million VaxCash Promotion to Towson resident Bryan Schlein, who visited Lottery Headquarters on June 9 to claim his prize.

Schlein, the winner in the June 5 drawing, received a call from a Maryland Department of Health representative last weekend informing him that he had been selected as a winner. Schlein became eligible to win the $40,000 prize by getting vaccinated earlier this year. Along with many other healthcare workers, Schlein received his COVID-19 vaccine in January.

“I was working in a healthcare setting, and I wanted to be able to continue work that I considered important and also be safe,” said Schlein.

As the pandemic began, the 39-year-old was transitioning between jobs. Months later the Towson University graduate and former TU residence life coordinator found the opportunity to return to his alma mater and make a difference, first as a volunteer and later as a site coordinator in the university’s COVID-19 testing program. Schlein’s team has performed COVID-19 tests daily for Towson University students, faculty and staff throughout the pandemic.

“I’m proud of our ability to keep the campus safe,” he said. “I know the work we’re doing is a key part of the university’s path to an open campus and keeping the athletics programs running.”

Although he did not originally plan a career in healthcare, Schlein said he could envision continuing similar health outreach work in a university health center.

Word of his VaxCash win spread quickly. Schlein first shared the news with a few close friends and then many more through a Facebook post. Now he’s using that notoriety to encourage others to get vaccinated.

“Lots of people kept asking me, how to get in for a chance to win a prize too, and I told them, you’ve got to get the shot,” Schlein said. “If you needed a better reason to do it, now you have it.”

Schlein said he plans to put most of the money into savings. But he added that he plans to use some of the prize to celebrate his 40th birthday in style with a trip to the Disney resort in Tokyo, Japan.

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.