Ohio’s first Vax-a-Million winner plans to buy a used car


COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – Abbey Bugenske was en-route from Cincinnati to Cleveland when she got the call that changed her life.

But at least for right now, Bugenske says being Ohio’s first Vax-a-Million winner won’t change it all that much.

“I did come up to Cleveland from Cincinnati to look at a used car, and I think buying a used car is still in my future,” Bugenske said Thursday morning at a press conference with Ohio Governor Mike DeWine.

In her first public appearance since being named the winner of the million-dollar drawing for vaccinated Ohioans, Abbey said she would be donating to charities and investing most of her winnings as she continues to pursue her master’s degree in aerospace engineering.

Bugenske, a Shaker Heights native, is having a monumental spring. She just graduated from Michigan State University, started work as a mechanical engineer at GE Aviation, and now, this windfall.

“It’s a Wednesday night that I’m never going to forget,” she added.

All Ohio residents who have had at least one Pfizer, Moderna or Johnson & Johnson shot may register for the lottery. The state is giving away five full-ride scholarships to any Ohio state college or university to Ohioans ages 12 to 17, with five $1 million prizes for residents who are 18 and older.

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