Steelville mom, St. Charles 12-year-old among first winners in Missouri vaccine lottery


Rebecca White, seen here holding daughters Ophelia and Olive.

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – A young mother and registered nurse living in Steelville. A St. Charles 12-year-old whose younger sister has a respiratory disorder. They are just two of 180 Missourians to win $10,000 in the first round of drawings in the state’s vaccine incentive program.

Governor Mike Parson announced the first round of winners on Wednesday. More than 495,000 entries were received by the time of the Aug. 13 drawing.

Parson announced the COVID-19 vaccination incentive program last month. More than 400,000 doses of the COVID vaccine have been administered since the launch of the program. Approximately 60% of all eligible Missourians—ages 12 and up—have initiated the vaccination process.

Each of the five drawings will generate 180 winners, for a total of 900 winners. The state said 800 winners will be adults and will receive a cash prize of $10,000. There will also be 100 adolescents, aged 12 to 17, who will win a $10,000 education savings account through the Missouri State Treasurer’s MOST 529 program.

Rebecca White of Steelville was pregnant with her twin girls, Olive and Ophelia, when she decided to get vaccinated.

“I got the vaccine for my family. 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,” said White, who is immunocompromised. “…There’s so much more risk of having bad outcomes if you are pregnant and get COVID-19.”

In St. Charles, Cooper Norton became one of the 20 adolescent winners of an education savings account from the state.

Cooper’s younger sister, Kate, was born with cystic fibrosis, a respiratory illness that could be more problematic if she contracted COVID-19. Cooper and his family wanted to limit Kate’s risk of infection and they got vaccinated. The family’s physicians and specialists recommended they get the vaccine.

“You’re a little more apprehensive when it comes to your kids and making decisions for them,” said Shawna Norton, Cooper’s mother. “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.”

You only need to enter one time to be eligible for all five drawings.

If you can’t enter the sweepstakes online, assistance is available by calling the COVID-19 hotline at 877-435-8411 Monday-Friday from 7:30 a.m.-7:30 p.m. Official rules and frequently asked questions can be found online at

Winners will have their vaccination statuses verified.

Of the 180 selected winners for the Aug. 13 drawing, 170 have been fully verified. The remaining 10 have until 5 p.m. Friday, Aug. 27 to get verified or the prizes will be awarded to alternates.

Cooper Norton, with his mother Shawna and sister Kate.

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