Whitmer highlights success of MI Shot to Win Sweepstakes

Vaccination rates after MI Shot to Win Sweepstakes.
Vaccination rates after MI Shot to Win Sweepstakes.(WNEM)
Updated: Aug. 26, 2021 at 9:43 AM EDT
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SAGINAW, Mich. (WNEM) - The final round of winners in the MI Shot to Win Sweepstakes was announced by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and leaders of the Protect Michigan Commission and Michigan Education Trust.

The lottery-style raffle gave fully vaccinated Michiganders the chance to win a $1 million prize, $2 million grand prize, and 30 daily prizes of $50,000. Michiganders 12 to 17-years-old could win $55,000 in college scholarships, a combined value of $500,000.

“Thanks to every Michigander who got their shot, the MI Shot To Win Sweepstakes has been a success and we are continuing to make progress in keeping our families and communities safe,” Whitmer said. “But our work is not done. We are going to keep making efforts to reach people where they are, answer their questions and help them get their shots. If we work together, I know we can get this done and continue our economic jumpstart.”

Whitmer announced the launch of the sweepstakes on July 1. While vaccinations rates tend to dip in the summer months, the MI Shot to Win Sweepstakes bolstered vaccinations before the Delta variant of COVID-19 became the dominant strain, Whitmer said.

Michigan’s vaccination rates increased from 61 percent to 63 percent, and Whitmer attributed the increase to the sweepstakes. The state’s vaccination rate is now more than 65 percent, according to the most recent data from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.

Over the same July time span, more than 2.4 million people signed up to win cash prizes and more than 106,000 Michiganders entered to win scholarships.

“The sweepstakes and news coverage helped spur conversations between families and friends about the sweepstakes,” said Kerry Ebersole Singh, director of the Protect Michigan Commission. “Several winners who were previously unvaccinated before the sweepstakes said they were inspired to get their vaccinations based on those discussions and the prizes they could win.”

Other strategies have been used to promote the COVID-19 vaccine in Michigan. Whitmer created the Protect Michigan Commission to help ensure Michiganders have a plan to get vaccinated against COVID-19.

From January to July this year, unvaccinated Michiganders accounted for 98 percent of COVID-19 cases, 95 percent of hospitalizations, and 96 percent of deaths.