Tabatha Duckett

Charles resident Tabatha Duckett poses with an oversized check after she won $40,000 through Maryland’s VaxCash program.

While some people have mild negative reactions to the COVID-19 vaccine, one Charles County woman instead got something very positive out of the shot.

Tabatha Duckett was announced the winner of a $40,000 prize for getting her coronavirus vaccine. The prize, announced June 6, was part of the $2 million state VaxCash promotion, run through the Maryland Lottery and state health department.

Duckett, who is a school custodian, said she was unaware of the VaxCash promotion until she received a phone call from the Maryland Department of Health while cleaning the administrative offices at La Plata High School.

“I don’t even play the Lottery, so this was a huge surprise,” she said in a press release.

Throughout the pandemic Duckett and her fellow custodians kept school and administrative offices functioning. With the return to in-person education, the school is once again bustling with activity.

“Throughout it all we were sanitizing areas and taking care of the folks that would be in the school, so the virus was always on our minds,” she said.

Those fears hit even closer to home when her husband contracted COVID-19 earlier this year and rode out severe symptoms at home.

“I didn’t want to get sick, and I wanted to protect my grandkids, my mother and my sisters, too,” Duckett said, adding that she plans to share a portion of the prize with family.

The VaxCash promotion, announced by Gov. Larry Hogan (R) on May 20, is a collaboration of the Maryland Lottery and the Maryland Department of Health, and aimed at incentivizing Marylanders who have not yet received their COVID-19 vaccinations while rewarding those who have. All Maryland residents 18 and older who have received a COVID-19 shot at a non-federal facility in the state at any time are automatically entered into daily drawings being held from May 25 through July 4.

Each day through July 3, one winner will receive a $40,000 prize, and the promotion culminates on the Fourth of July when one winner will receive a $400,000 prize.

Twitter: @CalebSoMdNews

Twitter: @CalebSoMdNews