PHOENIX (Nov. 2, 2021) – In September, the Arizona Lottery launched a new “Partner Prize Giveaway” with the goal of letting their players do something that doesn’t happen very often – nominate a close friend, family member or nonprofit organization to win a prize!
This innovative, week-long, social media contest generated lots of buzz on the Arizona Lottery’s Facebook, Instagram and Twitter accounts. Players were asked, “If you could pick one person to win the Arizona Lottery, who would it be and why? Tag below!”
The diverse responses offered a glimpse into the tremendous respect players had for their nominees. Some players nominated family members going through a challenging time, while others nominated friends of whom they were proud. Several nonprofits were nominated for their community service, while some players nominated themselves - a rule-breaker that provided some comic relief during the contest.
“The Arizona Lottery has always been about giving back to the community while having a fun, entertaining and engaging experience,” Arizona Lottery Executive Director Gregg Edgar said. “What better way could there be to do this than by empowering our players to give to the people and causes most important to them. Our goal with this contest was to underscore the generosity of all our communities and the strength that comes from giving.”
The 10 pairs of nominees/winners were picked randomly between Facebook, Instagram and Twitter by a third party from those who made qualified entries. In total, there were 20 winners statewide, each winning $500 gift cards (See below):
- Southwest Oasis Labrador Rescue and Julie Berlin
- Julie Berlin, of Phoenix, nominated Southwest Oasis Labrador Rescue, stating that “theirdedication, time, effort, blood, sweat and tears the volunteers of this organization put into rescuing dogs (often from such incomprehensible abuse and neglect) is so selfless and admirable.”
- Life Care Center’s Activities Department in Sierra Vista and Regina Nucci
- Regina Nucci, of Huachuca City, is a nurse who has worked for Life Care Center for several years. Describing her colleagues, she said, “This department works so hard and is super creative in consistently coming up with ways to put a smile on our long-term care and rehab residents’ faces.”
- Rina Bryan and Dave Beck, both of Kingman
- Dave Beck nominated his friend, Rina Bryan, because she is an essential worker who has worked through the entire pandemic (50 hour+ weeks). He knew she needed to get her water heater fixed and thought she could use the extra help.
- Arizona Helping Hands and Richard Lagno
- Richard Lagno, of Scottsdale, said the nonprofit needs gift cards for teams for the holiday toy drive season. The teams purchase toys for the holiday toy drive.
- Christine and Margret Delgado of Bagdad
- Margret nominated her sister-in-law, Christine, sharing how the gift card would help: “She lost her home to a fire and lost everything.”
- Kimberly Halton Welker and Rachel DeMille
- Rachel DeMille, of Queen Creek, nominated her friend Kimberly Halton Welker, of Gilbert, stating, “She is a health care worker, busy mom of two kids with a baby on the way, and she deserves some good luck!”
- Patty Gonzales and Clarisse Drake, both of Safford
- Patty Gonzales nominated her friend, Clarisse Drake, of Essence of Tranquility, stating, “She is an amazing lady who has been there for me, and she is always willing to help others. She has a kind heart and I appreciate everything she has done for me and others.”
- Marilyn Fabian and Shirley M. Gray
- Shirley Gray, of Mesa, and Marilyn Fabian, of Tucson, have been friends for more than 55 years. Shirley nominated Marilyn, writing, “We always said if we won the lottery, I would take care of her. She always said she'll take care of me! As we have grown, we have gone through babies together, divorces together and then finding that special person to live our lives with. As life has it, both of our husbands died before us. She has always been there for me -- my friend has such a gentle heart that I truly don't think she has a bad bone in her body.”
- Southern Arizona Diaper Bank and Cynthia Marie Zamora
- Cynthia Marie Zamora, of Tucson, nominated the Southern Arizona Diaper Bank, stating, “They are the first ever diaper bank and they are dear to my heart.”
- Centers for Habilitation and Mike Murphy
- Mike Murphy, of Phoenix, nominated the Tempe nonprofit, stating, “My wife and I met at the old location on 250 W. 1st Street in Tempe 37 years ago. The agency was called Tempe Center for the Handicapped. My wife and I are still crazy about each other in love.”