Nearly 500,000 Michiganders entered the state’s new COVID-19 vaccine sweepstakes in the first day.
On Thursday morning, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced the lottery-style raffle that gives vaccinated Michiganders a chance to win more than $5 million in cash and a combined total of nearly $500,000 in college scholarships. By 8 a.m. Friday, the “MI Shot to Win Sweepstakes” received 464,698 applicants for the grand prizes with 23,978 eligible children signed up for the scholarship drawing, Whitmer’s office said.
The sweepstakes ends Aug. 3, 2021.
“This is an innovative way to encourage more Michiganders to get vaccinated, and I am delighted to see so much excitement for the kickoff of the MI Shot To Win Sweepstakes,” said Whitmer. “We understand there are people out there who have questions, and maybe this will motivate them to seek the answers to their questions so they feel comfortable getting vaccinated.”
As of Thursday, 62.4% of Michiganders ages 16 and up have received at least one dose of the COVID vaccine, Whitmer said. That’s nearly 5 million people.
Michigan’s vaccination goal has always been to get 70% of residents 16 and up vaccinated.
“With the sweepstakes, we hope to increase our rate by that 9% -- roughly 700,000 more Michiganders -- so that we can get to that 70% rate,” Whitmer said.
Whitmer acknowledged that Ohio previously implemented a similar COVID incentive program, and said she wants the “MI Shot to Win Sweepstakes” to be even better.
“I know somebody must be thinking, ‘Didn’t Ohio do this first?’” Whitmer said. “Well, yes they did. But, in typical Michigan fashion, we wanted to do it bigger and better than they can do it in Ohio.”