DENVER (CBS4)– Officials with the State of Colorado picked the fifth $1 million winner in a lottery that was aimed at inspiring residents to get vaccinated against COVID-19. Heidi Russell was named the final winner of the Colorado Comeback Cash giveaway on Wednesday.

(credit: State of Colorado)

Russell is a mother of four from Aurora who spent much of the last year-and-a-half with her children, who were learning remotely. She said she hopes to pay off her student loans with the winnings and that she and her husband are so hopeful.

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“This prize will be so helpful raising four kids. When I told my daughter yesterday, her first comment was, ‘Yes! My college is paid for,’ but I also look forward to helping others and serving others with this money.”

(credit: CBS)

Every vaccinated resident who got the vaccine before July 1 was entered in the drawing of the Colorado Comeback Cash giveaway. Wednesday’s drawing was the fifth and final one in Colorado.

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Colorado is one of several states offering lottery prizes, scholarships and other incentives to drive vaccination rates up. The Centennial State also had a giveaway in place for 25 scholarships for $50,000. The final drawing for the Comeback Cash Scholarship also happened on Wednesday.

The funds will be placed in a CollegeInvest account for the student to use when they pursue postsecondary education, including higher and technical education or credential programs. The funds can be left in the interest-bearing account for future educational use.

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To learn more about the Comeback Cash Scholarship drawing, visit:

Jennifer McRae