CHARLESTON, W.Va. — State officials on Wednesday announced a fifth round of state vaccination lottery winners, in which Gov. Jim Justice and his English bulldog Babydog traveled around the state to present prizes to some of the winners.
Denise Morrison of Fairmont won the fifth $1 million prize of the “Do it for Babydog: Save a life, Change your life” sweepstakes. Hope To of Charleston and Shannon Cook of Glen Dale received new custom-outfitted trucks.
Morrison, a nurse at J.W. Ruby Memorial Hospital in Morgantown, was called to attend what she initially believed as a meeting with dozens of coworkers. Justice entered the meeting room to announce Morrison won the $1 million prize.
“I was a little nervous when everybody was looking at me, and I didn’t know what was going on,” she said. “I didn’t think it would be anything like this.”
Brad Fletcher, Morrison’s finance, was informed about the prize on Tuesday. He told reporters he did everything to ensure Morrison remained unaware about being one of the latest winners.
“Not hard to keep it from her for this reason,” he said.
Morrison said she will use the money to help her family with any financial issues such as house payments and other expenses.
Justice surprised To outside of the Governor’s Mansion in Charleston. She told reporters she had never won a prize like a vehicle before.
“I’d love to drive this truck,” she said laughing.
Joe Sizemore, To’s son-in-law, told reporters To and family members agreed to get vaccinated together, noting the benefits of receiving the necessary doses.
“It couldn’t have happened to a better person,” he said about the truck. “She’s very selfless, lives a frugal life, and this is really cool she wins something like this.”
Justice’s office announced other prizes Wednesday morning before the governor’s stops:
— Four-year scholarships to any public institution in West Virginia: Tyson Bennett and Falling Waters and Kiera Blankenship of Gilbert.
— Lifetime hunting licenses: Parke Bradley of Morgantown; William Haynes of Vienna; Misty Lipscomb-Poole of Parkersburg; Dee E. Moore of Clarksburg; and Robyn Smith of Tornado.
— Lifetime fishing licenses: Taniaya Duley of Huntington; Tina Good of Advent; Brady G. Howell of Proctor; Vicki Hypes of Nettie; and Donna Jennings of Thornton.
— Custom hunting rifles: Brandon Fox of Oak Hill; George Ingels of New Haven; Tammy Ridenour of Morgantown; Amber Shaffer of Elkins; and Joey Thompson of Point Pleasant.
— Custom hunting shotguns: Ruby Anderson of Gandeeville; Melissa Butler of Bluefield; Keith Leon Nelson of Arbovale; Kelly Schoolcraft of Elkview; and Randi Ward of Vienna.
— State Park weekend getaways: David Asbury of Poca; Brittany Baker of Point Pleasant; Dwayne Brown of Martinsburg; Ashton Carr of Greenville; Shannon Coley of Oak Hill; Casey Davis of Williamstown; Pamela Dunn of Princeton; Matthew Fleshman of Wayside; Gregory Gibson of Point Pleasant; Keith Gilkey of South Charleston; Michael Harding of Elkins; Deva Holub of Shepherdstown; Patricia Kester of Shirley; Michael Lane of Bluefield; Arlie Lee of Augusta; Rebecca Lynn of Fairmont; Bonnie Marshall of Lewisburg; Daniel Martin of Morgantown; Jackie Mounts of Ranger; Laci Proietti of Keyser; Anita Reed of Alderson; Tonette Sugg of South Charleston; Robert Weikle of Racine; Stephanie White of Morgantown; and Melisa Williamson of Vienna.
Drawings will continue through Aug. 4.
MetroNews’ Jack Flately and Mike Nolting contributed to this story.