Ask any traveler, and it's probably their dream come true: a year of free flights with a companion, any class of service to anywhere in the world.
One Arizona man will live out that fantasy because he got his COVID-19 vaccination.
Sean Husmoe of Goodyear, Arizona, a Phoenix suburb, received a phone call from United Capt. CJ Charlton telling him he was one of five winners of United's Your Shot to Fly sweepstakes.
"Are you kidding me? That's incredible! You enter a sweepstakes, you don't necessarily expect to win," Husmoe said in a video United Airlines shared with The Arizona Republic and USA TODAY Network of him receiving the news July 2.
A seasoned traveler, Husmoe still has two continents, South America and Antarctica, to visit. He hopes to use the grand prize to travel with his wife and daughters.
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Other winners, according to United, are:
Ashley Cronkhite from Bradenton, Florida, an advertising professional who began working at a grocery store during the pandemic. She plans to travel to European destinations, including Ireland and Italy, with her best friend – her mom.
Robert Simicak from Cleveland, a health care worker who plans to travel to national parks with his wife.
Lauren Aldredge from Oakland, California, who will experience her first time flying in a premium cabin and will travel to celebrate her 30th birthday with her partner.
Lauren M. from San Francisco, who plans to travel with her family, including a trip to Tahiti with her husband.
COVID-19 vaccine sweepstakes incentivized people to get the shot
The Chicago-based airline conducted the contest in May. Members of the airline's MileagePlus frequent flyer program uploaded their vaccination status for a chance to win round-trip tickets or the grand prize of a year of travel anywhere in the world. The five winners can fly with a companion on up to 26 round-trip flights.
The airline launched the program to encourage people to get their COVID-19 vaccinations. In less than a month, more than 1 million United MileagePlus members entered the contest.
“We were proud to do our part to encourage more Americans to get their shot and were thrilled by the overwhelming response we received," Scott Kirby, United’s CEO, said in a news release. "This prize clearly struck an emotional chord with our customers, as the opportunity to travel and connect with people and places that matter most is something that clearly has been missed during the pandemic."
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'We've had to put travel on hold for a year'
"We've had to put travel on hold for a year. For more than a year. That's one of the things our family spends our money on is traveling and going and seeing the country and seeing the world internationally," Husmoe told Charlton. "We did kind of put our lives on hold like a lot of people did, so we're ready to get back on the road."
This article originally appeared on Arizona Republic: COVID vaccine sweepstakes: Winners get free United flights for a year