Spartan wins Ohio vaccine lottery

June 4, 2021

Abbigail Bugenske (’20) is first Ohio Vax-A-Million winner

The first winner of $1 million in Ohio’s Vax-A-Million drawing is a Spartan Engineer!

Abbigail Bugenske
Abbigail Bugenske

Abbigail Bugenske, who graduated from MSU in May 2020 with a mechanical engineering degree, thought the phone call notifying her was a prank call.

“I am still digesting it. I’d like to say that it feels like this is happening to a different person. I cannot believe it,” she said.

The 22-year-old from Shaker Heights, Ohio, was driving from Cincinnati to Cleveland to look at used cars when she got the life-changing call.

Bugenske works as a mechanical engineer for GE Aviation in Cincinnati. She started her master's degree in aerospace engineering last fall.

"I'm definitely not quitting my job. I love it at GE; I love the people I work with. And as for future plans, I'm probably going to invest most of it. I think buying a used car is still in my future.”

Bugenske said it was a "pretty easy decision” to get the vaccine at the first chance she could.

“I got the vaccine because I wanted to make sure that I wasn’t putting people I encounter at risk,” she explained. “Whether that’s friends, family, or anyone in the same public space I’m in. Now, with the COVID restrictions in Ohio lifting, I think it’s especially important to get the vaccine.”

Ohioans 18 or older who received their first vaccine can sign up to win the Vax-a-Million lottery. Anyone 17 or under who received a vaccine also has a chance to win one of five, four-year full-ride college scholarships. 

More than 3.2 million Ohioans have entered their names for the $1 million lottery so far and 133,000 children entered their names for the scholarship. Those numbers continue to increase.