Louisiana has a new millionaire.
Janet Mann, a retired school teacher from Bossier City, was revealed as the grand prize winner of the state’s COVID-19 vaccine lottery.
Gov. John Bel Edwards called Mann, 63, recently to inform her that she had won.
“It’s just a blessing,” she said in a video of the phone call. “It’ll be great for me and my family. I appreciate it so much. I’m just in shock.”
Friday’s announcement concluded the state’s “Shot at a Million” incentive program that was sponsored by “Bring Back Louisiana” campaign to spur more vaccinations. Since launching in June, more than 902,000 people registered for the lottery that awarded five cash prizes and nine scholarships.
During Friday’s COVID-19 press conference, Edwards welcomed Mann to the stage and presented her with a giant check. He then lauded her years of service as a special education teacher in Bossier and Caddo parishes, calling her “deserving” of the prize.
“I’m just going to take the money and roll,” Mann joked after receiving the check.
Edwards and officials from the Louisiana Department of Health also revealed the last five winners of the $100,000 scholarship. The winners were:
-- Emily Guillet, 13, of Baton Rouge
-- Gavin Harrington, 13, of Rosedale
-- MacKenzie Rigdon, 15, of Metairie
-- Emma Fisackerly, 16, of New Orleans
-- Jackson Page, 17, of New Orleans
The “Shot at a Million” campaign started June 21 and was open to anyone 12 years and older who received at least one COVID-19 vaccine shot.
Overall, the state doled out $2.3 million, paid using federal COVID outreach dollars.
“Every winner is a shining example of Louisianans doing their part to help put this pandemic behind us, and I could not be more proud of or happy for all of them, from our first to our very last,” Edwards said in a statement.
On Friday, Edwards announced the state’s next COVID-19 vaccine incentive program: “Shot for 100.” In this new program, the state will give $100 to the first 75,000 college students who get their COVID-19 vaccine at participating institutions of higher education.
Currently, 18-to-29-year-olds are one of the two least vaccinated age groups in Louisiana, and that group is reporting the most cases statewide.
“We are seeing more young people go sleeves up, and that’s good, but we have a very long way to go within that demographic,” Edwards said. “Students want an in person college experience and as much normalcy as possible. To safely accomplish that, we need more shots in arms.”