DETROIT – An adult will win a million dollars and someone between the ages of 12-17 will win a college scholarship Wednesday -- just for getting vaccinated against COVID-19.
Ohio’s Vax-a-Million lottery will take place over several weeks. Maryland’s Vax-Cash program has already given someone $40,000.
The states that are offering prizes for vaccinations are getting strong participation, so why hasn’t Michigan tried?
“Someone who got a COVID vaccine in Bay County also won a two-year lease on a new Buick,” said Bay County Health Director Joel Strasz. “It was a Buick Enclave, I believe.”
Strasz said the key to enticing more people to get vaccinated with a chance to win a car and cash prizes was to have the business community donate prizes. No tax dollars were used.
“There were able to garner resources for a raffle and added prizes, like a two-year lease on a car, $500 prizes and a host of other prizes that were donated,” Strasz said.
With vaccination rates slowing down, Michigan just has to look south to Ohio, which is seeing a jump in rates by offering the chance to win a million dollars.
“Michigan law precludes us from doing that,” Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said. “We are investigating additional ways to get people to get vaccinated.”
“I don’t know how they get their hands on COVID dollars,” Hornberger said. “If it wasn’t COVID dollars, then I think it would come from the general fund, which opens up another can of worms.”