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From left: Piper Bott, Megan Shuey and Kayla Lyons hold the Poke-a-thon grand prize check with Pistol Pete.

Poke-a-thon grand prize winners announced

Monday, October 25, 2021

Media Contact: Jillian McGee | Digital Communications Specialist | 405-744-6263 |

Kayla Lyons was at the gym when she got the call telling her she had just won $3,500 in bursar credit.

She had to ask several times to hear that again because she couldn’t believe it.

It feels really good. I feel really grateful and fortunate,” Lyons said. “I am sure a lot of college students can relate because money is a thing that a lot of people struggle with.”

Lyons, Piper Bott and Megan Shuey all received calls telling them they had each won the three grand prizes of Oklahoma State University’s Poke-a-thon vaccination campaign.

Lyons, a third-year transfer from the Colorado School of Mines who is majoring in civil engineering, didn’t even know she had been entered in the raffle. She had been automatically entered as she was vaccinated against COVID-19 earlier in the year.

“I just got vaccinated because of my family. I live with my grandparents, who are high risk,” said Lyons, a Tulsa native. “That is why I thought, “Wait, I won something?’”

Bott, a first-year master’s student, was on her way to campus when her phone rang. She thought it was just her professor she was on her way to meet. Bott was shocked as she thought Poke-a-thon had been over for weeks.

“I had already been vaccinated and then my mom told me to enter so I did and here we are,” Bott said.

A native of Oklahoma City, Bott is looking to use some of her money to buy a desktop computer. She hopes to earn her master’s in the Department of Design, Housing and Merchandising and possibly get a graduate degree in architecture, as well.

Shuey is a freshman and she said when she got the call in her dorm room, she was so excited because most of the time when people enter a raffle, they never know if they will actually be the winner.

“It was insane. I entered it and thought, “Small chance I will win. It is crazy, I did not think I was going to win,” Shuey said.

A psychology major from Frisco, Texas, Shuey looks to use a bulk of her prize money toward tuition as she looks to earn a degree and start her own practice in a few years.

Dr. Doug Hallenbeck, OSU’s vice president for student affairs, said he thought the campaign was a success and was glad to see Bott, Lyons and Shuey be rewarded for getting vaccinated.

“As always I am proud of our students!” Hallenbeck said. “The Poke-a-thon was designed to encourage students to get vaccinated and also to encourage already vaccinated students to let us know they have been vaccinated. It was successful in doing both. At the start of the semester we had about 5,000 students that had been vaccinated, now we are over 13,000!

Also runner-up prizes were announced with Marc Bertucci receiving an iPad, keyboard and Apple pencil and McKenna Collier winning an iPad.

From left: Marc Bertucci and McKenna Collier each won iPads for participating in the Poke-a-thon vaccination campaign.

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