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By Echo Menges
Janie Parton, 64, of Memphis has won $10,000 in the Missouri Vaccine Lottery. Parton was officially notified of her win earlier in August and notified again on August 18.
“They emailed me twice and they called me twice. I saw it in my email, and I thought it was spam. They called me and told me I won, and I thought it was a scam,” laughed Janie Parton about being notified of her win. “They called me twice on Friday, and then called again on Monday.”
Parton was given the Moderna vaccine at the Scotland County Hospital on February 2. She received her second dose at SCH one month later, and just received her third shot, a booster, on Wednesday, August 25, also at SCH.
“It’s not about the money. It’s about the vaccination. The vaccination is what is going to keep us safe. I have friends that are on ventilators right now. That’s what I don’t want,” said Parton.
At the beginning of the pandemic, back in March of 2020, Parton worked tirelessly to make hundreds of facemasks to give to the community because they were not available at the time. She left the masks on the hood of her car free to anyone who wanted one.
“I feel very fortunate,” said Parton. “All I ever wanted with this whole pandemic is I wanted everybody to be okay.”
Parton has already offered to give half of her winnings to a family member – if they will get the vaccine. She hopes her offer will entice them to go ahead and get it.
Parton signed up for the Missouri vaccine lottery online.
“One of my former colleagues mentioned it and I thought, okay, I’ll do it. The signing up was simple,” said Parton.
After winning, Parton was asked to upload her ID and a copy of her vaccination card online on the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services website – to verify her identity and that she was vaccinated.
“I went to the library, and they helped me get it figured out,” said Parton. “At first everyone told me it was a scam… It wasn’t.
Parton hopes her win will encourage others to get the vaccine, no matter the reason.
“For me, it’s not about the money. It’s about protecting people – so they don’t end up on a ventilator,” said Parton.