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First 'Shot at a Million' winner Patricia Short: From unemployed to millionaire

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Posted at 1:45 PM, Jul 02, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-02 17:37:49-04

FRANKFORT, Ky. (LEX 18) — On Thursday, Patricia Short of Lexington was asked to come to the Capitol because the governor wanted to personally speak with her. She didn't know that her life would change that day.

"Congratulations," Governor Andy Beshear said as Short walked into his office.

Cameras captured the moment Short saw the million-dollar check in Beshear's hands. On it, it had her name.

On Friday, Short's win was announced to the public.

"I did it. It happened," said Short. "It's real."

Short couldn't help but smile during the announcement, and understandably so. The pandemic was tough on Short and her husband, Gary.

On January 15, 2021, Short told LEX 18 about their struggles.

"My first phone call was made in July," Short said as she explained the trouble she was having navigating the state's unemployment system. "I was put in the queue and no one's ever called me back."

Short said without unemployment, she and her husband could not afford a place of their own. They ended up living on a friend's floor.

"My husband is a heart patient," Short said in January. "The one thing he's not supposed to do is deal with stress. Our life is nothing but stress."

About six months after that teary interview, Short's name was drawn in the Shot-at-a-Million contest. She was walking away with one million dollars before taxes.

"I'm still numb," Short said on Friday. "Y'all get vaccinated. That's the important thing. Then, you can register, and you can win this too."

“This happens in the movies, and now it happens in Kentucky," said Short's husband, Gary. "I hope it makes 1 million more people get vaccinated.”

Short was not the only winner this week. These five teens/preteens also won a full college scholarship:

  • Jalen Crudup from Elizabethtown
  • Crystal Frost from Crestwood
  • Tyler Henson from Mt. Sterling
  • Adison Sullenger from Princeton
  • Alex VonderHaar from Louisville

"I feel so lucky. And all I did was get vaccinated," said Frost. "I thought it was a smart decision and clearly, it really paid off."

Vaccinated Kentuckians still have two more chances to become millionaires or scholarship winners. The next drawings will take place July 29 and August 26. Those who did not win in the first drawing remain eligible for the final two drawings.

Vaccinated Kentuckians still have two more chances to become millionaires or scholarship winners. Since the deadline to enter the first drawing on Wednesday, more than 35,000 Kentuckians have entered for the next two drawings.

The remaining incentive drawings will take place July 29 and Aug. 26, with one millionaire and five scholarship recipients, announced the day following each drawing. Those who did not win in the first drawing remain eligible for the final two drawings.

Beshear said more than 121,000 Kentuckians have received vaccines since the Shot at a Million drawing was announced on June 4.

Permanent residents of Kentucky can enter here to win the following prizes:

  • $1 million: Kentuckians 18 and older who have received at least their first dose of a Moderna or Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, or the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine, may enter to win one of the remaining two $1 million prizes.
  • Full Scholarship: Kentuckians 12 to 17 years old who have received at least their first dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine may enter to win one of the remaining 10 full scholarships to a Kentucky public college, university, technical or trade school, which includes tuition, room-and-board and books.

Click here for more information, official rules, and to enter.