Kentucky’s last winner of its Shot At A Million drawing is a grandma from Louisville: Mary Mattingly.
Gov. Andy Beshear delivered the news to Mattingly and her husband while they sat in their car on a trip to South Dakota.
In a recording of the call, Mattingly said, “I can’t believe it. I cannot believe it. I am sitting in car so I’m not in a position to be able to jump … but I am so thankful. I am so grateful. I am so honored, and I am just, I don’t deserve it more than anyone else. I try to do the right thing and just got vaccinated and wore the mask and did social distance. But, I’ll accept it.”
Mattingly said she got vaccinated for her four grandchildren.
Five Kentucky students also won a prize for getting vaccinated, a full-ride, college scholarship.
Your student winners are:
- Jaden Wattley, 17, from Louisville (a Ballard High School student)
- Jordan Ballard, 13, from Crestwood
- Grider Burch, 15, from Lexington
- Lillie Nielsen, 16, from Nicholasville
- Marissa Herron, 12, from Mount Washington
“I got the vaccine to help make a safer community for my school at Ballard High School …,” said Wattley. “And I also did it to help support the nurses and medical family.”
Wattley’s father and mother are healthcare workers.
Beshear also shared vaccination numbers for Kentucky at a press conference today. So far, around 2.4 million Kentuckians have gotten vaccinated in the state, putting Kentucky’s vaccination rate at 56%.
Mattingly, the million dollar winner, encouraged other residents of Kentucky to get vaccinated.
“I have a small tree in my front yard covered with green lights, in honor of those who had lost their lives to this unpredictable and frightening virus,” she said in a pre-recorded video message. “I have loved ones who have experienced deaths of family members, and my heart aches or everyone who has experienced loss. Finally, I told the governor that I wanted to use this opportunity to encourage each of you to get the shot of hope. The vaccines cannot stop every case, but they can greatly reduce your chances of acquiring a serious long term or fatal case of COVID-19
Now that at the Shot at a Million drawing is done, the rest of Kentucky’s COVID response lies in the hands of Kentucky Republicans. Laws they passed last year limiting Beshear’s executive order powers are about to go in effect, after a Kentucky Supreme Court ruling in their favor.
So far, Kentucky Senate President Robert Stivers has said he wants to continue incentives for Kentuckians, but his proposals fall far short of million dollar drawings. Instead, he’s proposing free coupons for pizza and other incentives.
At today’s press conference, Beshear said he supported incentives. But, yesterday, he said that due to rising COVID cases, he would recommend a mask mandate for the state if he could.
Beshear started the press conference with dark news of Kentucky’s COVID cases: On Thursday, Kentucky hit record numbers of COVID cases, filled ICU beds and Kentuckians on ventilators.
“And today, I can report that now over half of all of our hospitals, 50 of 96 are reporting critical staffing shortages,” he said.
The state has started planning to deploy National Guard troops to hospitals. It has also requested a 100-member nurse strike team from FEMA.
Beshear also said that Louisville hospitals are primarily going to be handling patient transfers, as they have the ability to take sicker patients and children.