Michigan is the latest state to offer a lottery-style incentive for residents to get the COVID-19 vaccine under a new partnership with Meijer Inc. and the Michigan Association of United Ways.
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced today that the MI Shot to Win Sweepstakes will give vaccinated Michigan residents a chance to win a variety of prizes totaling $5 million in cash, along with a combined total of nearly $500,000 in scholarships.
“This sweepstakes gives every Michigander who’s been vaccinated a shot to win cash or college scholarships,” Whitmer said in a statement. “It’s also a great way to encourage more Michiganders to get the safe and effective vaccine so you can protect yourself, your family and help get life back to normal.
Michigan residents 18 years and older who have received one dose of the vaccine are eligible to register for the sweepstakes starting today.
Vaccinated residents ages 12-17 whose parents enter on their behalf can win nine scholarship drawings. Each of the scholarship drawing prizes consists of a four-year Michigan Education Trust (MET) charitable tuition contract valued at $55,000 that can be used to pay for tuition and mandatory fees at a college or university within MET terms and conditions.
The program is supported by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, Michigan Chamber of Commerce, Michigan Association of State Universities, Small Business Association of Michigan, Business Leaders of Michigan and the Protect Michigan Commission.
To qualify, Michigan residents must receive their vaccine from their doctor and register online at MIShotToWin.com. The sweepstakes deadline for entering is Aug. 3. Cash prizes include one $1 million drawing, 30 daily $50,000 drawings, and one $2 million drawing.
The program seeks to increase the state’s vaccination rate by roughly 9 percent, or about 767,000 additional vaccinations, to achieve a statewide goal of 70 percent of Michigan residents 16 and older.
“The data reflect that the vast number of Michiganders who are not yet vaccinated are actually not opposed to getting vaccinated,” Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Director Elizabeth Hertel said in a statement.
As of June 29, 61.7 percent, or more than 4.9 million residents, 16 and older have received their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccination, according to MDHHS data. To reach 70 percent, a total of 5,667,842 residents 16 and older would need to be immunized.
“Events that can draw attention to getting vaccinated — like the MI Shot To Win Sweepstakes — make us enthusiastic as the data we’ve reviewed of vaccine lotteries in other states is showing they’re very effective at getting more people vaccinated very quickly,” said Protect Michigan Commission Director Kerry Ebersole Singh.
Nationally, vaccinations have fallen from more than 3 million per day in April to about 1.8 million per day, according to Our World in Data. Michigan joins Ohio, New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Oregon and Colorado in holding large-scale raffles to get more people vaccinated.