The governor of Ohio called it a “great success.” It apparently also went well in Oregon and Maryland.
Now, Michigan is trying it.
Gov. Gretchen on Thursday unveiled a new initiative including cash prizes and college scholarships designed to get the state over its goal of having 70% of its residents 16-and-older fully vaccinated.
The “MI Shot to Win Sweepstakes” gives Michigan residents who have already gotten at least the first dose of vaccination the chance to win more than $5 million and nine $55,000 college scholarships. Prizes will be handed through a lottery-style raffle.
A $2 million drawing will take place in early August, as will the drawings for the nine scholarships. There also will be $50,000 daily drawings.
The state is working in partnership with Meijer and the Michigan Association of United Ways.
Will the lottery sway people to get vaccinated, or convince those who are skeptical of the vaccinations to change their minds? Whitmer admitted she didn’t know, but believes it’s worth the effort.
“We saw in Ohio and other states that have had sweepstakes that they saw an influx of people coming in to get vaccinated,” Whitmer said. “There are some who simply have some questions and maybe this will motivate them to seek answers so they feel comfortable getting vaccinated.
“It’s an exciting opportunity for so many people in our state to do what they need to do to protect themselves and our communities, but also get an opportunity to get a big prize,” she added. “It’s a great story of what happens when the public sector and the private sector and the philanthropic sector partner to solve a problem. We are up to this challenge, and this is a great tool to fight COVID.”
As of Wednesday, nearly 62% of Michigan residents 16 and older have received at least the first dose of vaccine. Some 52% of residents age 16 and older are fully vaccinated.
Other states, including Ohio, Oregon and Maryland, have used similar programs to try to entice their residents to get vaccinated. Cincinnati station Fox-19 reported that vaccinations in Ohio jumped 49% the weekend after Gov. Mike DeWine’s introduced the state’s “Vax-a-Million” initiative, prompting DeWine to call it a “great success.”
In Michigan, eligibility requirements look like this:
- The $1 million drawing is open to all eligible persons who have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccination between December 1, 2020 and July 10, 2021.
- The $2 million drawing Open to all eligible persons who have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccination between December 1, 2020 and July 30, 2021.
- The $50,000 daily drawings are open to all eligible persons who have received the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccination on the date corresponding to the $50k Daily Drawing. The deadline to enter the daily drawing is 11:59 p.m. ET the day prior to the drawing.
- The scholarship drawings are open to all eligible persons who have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccination between December 1, 2020 and July 30, 2021. The Scholarship Drawing is only open to legal United States residents residing in Michigan who are between the ages of 12 and 17 as of the corresponding drawing date. The parent or legal guardian must enter the eligible individual in the Sweepstakes for the Scholarship Drawing.