CHARLESTON — Gov. Jim Justice welcomed West Virginians to the Capitol Complex Sunday to celebrate the state’s 158th birthday and to witness the first prize giveaway of the “Do it for Babydog: Save a life, Change your life” vaccination sweepstakes.
The governor was joined by Babydog, his pet English Bulldog and the official mascot of the sweepstakes, to announce the winners of dozens of prizes, including the lottery’s first ever million-dollar winner.
- Karen Foley, of Mineral Wells, was named as the winner of the $1M cash prize Sunday, taking home the biggest prize from the first of seven vaccine lottery prize drawings.
- Melissa Spivy, of Vienna, and Ralph Paugh, of Parkersburg, were named as the winners of two new custom-outfitted trucks.
- Rebecca Osborne, of Hurricane, and Elizabeth Ball, of Nitro, were named as the winners of two full four-year scholarships to any public institution in the state.
Additional prizes awarded Sunday included five lifetime hunting licenses, five lifetime fishing licenses, five custom hunting rifles, five custom hunting shotguns, and 25 weekend getaways to West Virginia State Parks.
- Lifetime hunting license winners: Geneva Blake, Washington; Christopher Harvey Jr., Maben; Sabrina Morrison, Huntington;Dickie Roberts, Lewisburg; and Shirley Young, Bomont.
- Lifetime fishing license winners: James Browning Sr., Dry Branch; Sharon Cope, Frankford; Andrew Humphreys, Charleston; Joshua Rakosi, Morgantown; and Cathy Osborne, Rainelle.
- Custom hunting rifle winners: Charles Moats, Philippi; Heather Petry, Scott Depot; Bryan Price, Hurricane; Christy Reger, Nutter Fort; and Justin Myers, Hurricane.
- Custom hunting dhotgun winners: Xavier Alston, Fairmont; Stephen Barberio, Clarksburg; Deborah McNew, Princeton; David Shipman, Wheeling; Bonnie Taylor, Montcalm.
- State park weekend getaway winners: Thomas Binns, Elkins; Gerald Boone, Prichard; Carol Burge, Moundsville; Brandon Cork, Wellsburg; Victoria Dennison, Davisville; Deborah Dickens, Reynoldsville; Keith Ewing, Hico; Kevin Ford, Charleston; Bonnie Gibson, Princeton; Cathy Harless, Charleston; Edith Harrison, Parkersburg; Lisa Hewitt, Kearneysville; Kimberly Jackson, Princeton; Beverly Machir, Nitro; Travis Persinger, Fayetteville; Lana Plymale, Kenova; Wesley Runyan, Cross Lanes; Mary Anne Seckel, Morgantown; Jeff Sine, Falling Waters; Ronald Smith III, Huntington; Jason Thompson, Mount Hope; Caroline White, Fairmont; Lindsay White, Elkview; Jessica Workman, Crawley; and Jaime Young, Wheeling.
Additional lottery drawings will be held every week through Aug. 4 and will feature all of the same prizes that were awarded Sunday. The final drawing will also include a $1.588 million grand prize and a $588,000 second prize.
With six more “Do it for Babydog: Save a life, Change your life” prize giveaways scheduled, all West Virginians who have received at least one dose of any of the COVID-19 vaccines are encouraged to register at DoitforBaby dog.wv.gov to join the list of winners.
In addition to the prize giveaways, this year’s West Virginia Day doubled as a celebration of the state’s success in its fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to the latest DHHR data, 2,521 active COVID-19 cases remain across the entire state; the lowest such total since Sept. 3, 2020. Additionally, the County Alert System color-coded map shows 51 of 55 counties are in Green status, with zero counties in either the red or orange categories.
As a result, Justice announced during his address Sunday that he has signed an executive order, officially lifting West Virginia’s statewide indoor face covering requirement.
Face coverings must still be worn where required by federal law. Additionally, any private business or school system can still require individuals to wear a face covering.