Jefferson City, MO – Missouri Gov. Mike Parson announced the winners of the first drawing of the MO VIP on Wednesday. If you didn't win, you're still in luck because there are four more drawings happening.
There were 180 winners drawn in the inaugural lottery, but only 170 were confirmed to be vaccinated. The others have until 5 p.m. to confirm their vaccination status with the state.
The first lottery winners age 18 and up have won $10,000 while 20 winners between the ages of 12-17 have won an education savings accounts worth $10,000. All told, 900 total Missourians will be lottery winners, as the next round is drawn this Friday.
Cooper Norton, age 12, of St. Charles was one of the 20 adolescent winners.
His younger sister was born with Cystic Fibrosis and is not eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine. Cooper did not want to add any more risk of infection for his sister.
“You’re a little more apprehensive when it comes to your kids and making decisions for them,” said Shawna Norton, mother of Cooper. “It wasn’t something we took lightly. In fact, we had multiple conversations with pediatricians and specialist doctors to ensure it was the right choice given our family dynamic. After a lot of conversations, every single doctor recommended we get Cooper vaccinated. It was a no-brainer. We really feel that getting the COVID-19 vaccination is the best thing we can do to help protect our daughter.”
Rebecca White, a young mother and registered nurse from Steelville, is a $10,000 winner. White was no stranger to the fears and trauma that comes with infertility issues. Now a mom of four, White, was in the middle of her high-risk pregnancy with twin girls when she chose to be vaccinated against COVID-19.
“I got the vaccine for my family,” said White. “Now I have four kids, and I want to be around for them. I was susceptible to bad outcomes if I were to get COVID-19, and I wanted to protect my babies as much as I could.”
The healthy twin girls are now two months old, and White is relieved that they all have antibodies to protect them from COVID-19.
“The fact that they are here and healthy and have some protection against COVID-19 is amazing. I’m thankful I got the vaccination when I got it,” said White. “I wanted to share my story so I can be an example to other women who have been through this and are on the fence. I was on the fence, too, so I get it. Now, there has been a lot of research. There’s so much more risk of having bad outcomes if you are pregnant and get COVID-19.”