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Reno teen wins $20,000 college savings plan in second Vax Nevada Days giveaway (updated)


The second round of winners in Vax Nevada Days, the state’s sweepstakes to incentivize COVID-19 vaccinations, on Thursday saw a handful of winners from northern Nevada. The winners were announced via a KOLO-TV livestream from Sand Harbor State Park.

The names of 22 of the nights’ 204 winners were announced, including four winners from Reno. The Reno winners are:

  • Langdon I. from Reno, $5,000 college savings plan
  • Jonah H. from Reno, $20,000 college savings plan
  • Theresa W. from Reno, $1,000 cash
  • Madisen R. from Reno, $1,000 cash

Additional named winners hailed from Minden, Carson City, Fallon, Las Vegas and Henderson. Carson City resident Chloe H., a recent graduate of Carson High School, won the night’s biggest prize—$50,000 cash.

As Sisolak began announcing winners—which he giddily said was like announcing the Oscars—anti-vaccine protesters could be heard using a bullhorn to disrupt the event. Sisolak spoke louder.

“It never stops,” he said, before welcoming Reno winner Jonah up to accept his prize. Sisolak reiterated during the awards that the vaccines are safe and effective and that the giveaway was all about “encouraging Nevadans to seek this lifesaving treatment.”

An Associated Press analysis published in late June found that more than 99% of COVID-19 deaths are now in unvaccinated individuals.

Gov. Steve Sisolak gave a brief update on the state’s COVID-19 vaccination efforts to date, which last week included an increase of 2% of Nevadans getting their first dose of vaccine. He added that state immunization partners have been meeting with FEMA officials throughout the week, and FEMA will begin vaccination operations in southern Nevada over the weekend.

Sand Harbor was chosen as the location for the giveaway to promote Nevada’s State Parks. Nearly 500 annual passes to state parks are included in the list of Vax Nevada Days prizes.

The next giveaway night is Thursday, July 22. For more information on the giveaway visit https://www.vaxnevadadays.org/. To find a vaccine location visit nvcovidfighter.org or call 1-800-401-0946 any day between 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.


Spencer Gear was arrested Thursday night and charged with disturbing the peace, intimidating public officers and resisting public officers at Sand Harbor State Park. Gear was the man identified as using a bullhorn to disrupt the Vax Nevada Days awards event. According to reports, he allegedly threatened State Park rangers.

Gear will face charges in Incline Village Justice Court.

Vaccine officials said Gear was also demonstrating outside of last week’s vaccine giveaway at College of Southern Nevada in Las Vegas. His Facebook page includes homophobic content along with anti-vaccination sentiments.

Kristen Hackbarth
Kristen Hackbarth
Kristen Hackbarth is a freelance editor and communications professional with more than 20 years’ experience working in marketing, public relations and communications in northern Nevada. Kristen graduated from the University of Nevada, Reno with a degree in photography and minor in journalism and has a Master of Science in Management and Leadership. She also serves as director of communications for Nevada Cancer Coalition, a statewide nonprofit. Though she now lives in Atlanta, she is a Nevadan for life and uses her three-hour time advantage to get a jump on the morning’s news.