Dillingham resident Leo Roehl wins $49,000 COVID-19 vaccine sweepstakes

Oct 22, 2021

“The Give AK a Shot” vaccine sweepstakes ends this month. The cash prize lottery is meant to encourage Alaskans to get vaccinated. Each week, the Alaska Chamber announces two names from across the state. Now a Dillinghamer is one of the winners.

Leo Roehl (top left) with his family. 7/19/2016
Credit Courtesy of Leo Roehl



“The Give AK a Shot” vaccine sweepstakes ends this month. The cash prize lottery is meant to encourage Alaskans to get vaccinated. Each week, the Alaska Chamber of Commerce announces two names from across the state. 

Winners have been chosen from Bethel, Kodiak, Palmer, Valdez, Anchorage, Fairbanks and now, Dillingham.


Dillingham resident Leo Roehl was one of three names drawn on Thursday as a winner of $49,000 in the vaccine sweepstakes.

Roehl said he is still in shock.

“I mean I couldn’t believe it. I got my shot on Oct. 12 and Monday morning I was getting phone calls already. Still kind of a dream; still waiting to get pinched,” Roehl said.

There were 400 adults and 50 kids that entered to win the sweepstakes when Roehl was selected.
Credit Courtesy of the Alaska Chamber

Roehl and his son both got sick toward the end of September. They thought it was the flu. Then, they tested positive for COVID-19. They both quarantined for 10 days, which is required under the City of Dillingham’s current emergency orders.

After those 10 days, Roehl decided to get the shot on his way to get a negative COVID test before a doctor’s appointment. 

“I figured, well I’m here at the clinic, I might as well get my COVID shot too," Roehl said. "I told my son Jaden I wasn’t going to do this COVID shot without him. So I pulled him out of school. We went to the clinic, filled out the paperwork, got our COVID shots, he got back to the courtesy van, went back to school and I went on to my appointments.”

And on that October 12 night, Roehl and his son signed up for the sweepstakes. About a week later, Roehl was announced as a sweepstakes winner. He plans to use that money to address some health issues.

“Physical, mental and emotional with the stuff I’m going through," he said. "I had a stroke in February. Trying to get help here and I get referred, referred. So now this will give me a nice nest egg to be able to move closer to a hospital in a place where I can get the assistance that I need.”

Tyler Thompson: “Would you recommend that people get the vaccine?”

Roehl: “Yes. Definitely. Let’s do it for our elders and our children.”

There’s only one more week  for Alaskans to sign up for the Give AK a Shot Sweepstakes -- and get vaccinated if they haven’t already.  

One newly vaccinated Alaskan 18 or older will win the $49,000. They must enter the week they get their shot. A $49,000 scholarship will be awarded to an Alaskan age 12 to 17. If their parent or guardian is vaccinated, they will receive $10,000. Those winners will be announced October 28.

The program launched Sept. 2, 2021. About 123,500 vaccinated people entered the competition before the first week, according to the Alaska Chamber. Since then, 7,789 newly vaccinated people have signed up for the sweepstakes.

Contact the author at tyler@kdlg.org or 907-8422-200