Heidi Russell

Fifth and final Colorado Comeback Cash winner Heidi Russell talks about what the $1 million prize means for her and her family

A stay-at-home mom of four is the fifth and final winner of the $1 million Colorado Comeback Cash drawing that sought to lure residents of the state to get vaccinated against COVID-19, Gov. Jared Polis announced Wednesday.

The final prize went to Heidi Russell of Aurora, who also works at her husband Randy’s oral and facial surgery practice. After the governor’s announcement, Russell hailed the vaccine as a “miracle” and praised the “brilliant minds” who engineered it and brought it to the public.

"This prize will be so helpful in raising four kids," Russell said. "When I told my daughter yesterday, her first comment was, 'Yes, my college is paid for!'"

Russell also indicated she plans to use the prize money to pay off her student loans and help serve others.

The announcement wraps up the five-week contest, which kicked off on June 4 and was offered to all state residents over age 18 who have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

Polis also announced the final five winners of the $50,000 Comeback Cash Scholarship. That weekly drawing over the same time period made five Coloradans each week age 12 to 17 eligible to win $50,000 toward college tuition.

The final set of scholarship winners are:

  • Megan L., a 17-year-old high school senior from Loveland;
  • Lilly Casey, a 12-year-old Windsor resident;
  • Delany Frank, a Fredrick resident who plans to use the scholarship to attend cosmetology school;
  • Quentin Ryan, a 13-year-old from Boulder who is considering pursuing a degree in architecture; and 
  • Zerisenay Tsige, from a track and cross country athlete from Greeley.

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