Michigan Gov. Whitmer touts 'outstanding success' of COVID-19 vaccine sweepstakes

Michigan's COVID-19 vaccine sweepstakes has come to an end with millions of dollars in cash and scholarships handed out to people vaccinated against the virus and Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said the lottery-style giveaway was an "outstanding success".

Whitmer and leaders of the Protect Michigan Commission and Michigan Education Trust announced the final winners of the MI Shot to Win Sweepstakes on Monday which gave away over $5 million in cash and half a million dollars in college scholarships. Whitmer said the vaccine sweepstakes helped to reverse COVID-19 vaccination trends. 

"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," said Governor Whitmer. "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." 

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How many people received the COVID-19 vaccine during the giveaway?

Whitmer announced the COVID-19 sweepstakes on July 1 to give away a $2 million prize, a $1 million prize, daily prizes for people newly vaccinated, and scholarship opportunities for high school students.

Eligibility was opened up on July 4 and by the end of July, a total of 134,000 initial doses were administered in Michigan.

The first week, July 4-10, 28,000 first doses were administered. By the second week, that increased to 30,000 doses. The third week saw an increase to 35,000 week and by the last week of July, the state reported there were 41,000 initial doses administered.

Michigan's COVID-19 vaccination rate

The state increased its vaccination rate from 61% at the start of the month 63% by the end of July as the state pushes to reach the goal of 70% of those eligible vaccinated against COVID-19.

As of Aug. 23, three weeks after the end of the sweepstakes, Michigan's vaccination rate is at 65%.

Over the course of the sweepstakes, more than 2.4 million residents signed up to win cash prizes and over 106,000 Michigan students entered to win scholarships.

Future COVID-19 vaccinate plans

Protect Michigan Commission Director Kerry Ebersole Singh said the state has multiple strategies moving forward to promote vaccines.

  • Continue the commission’s wide-ranging public education campaign.
  • Highlight Michiganders’ COVID experience stories in its messaging and advertising.
  • Increase community access points for vaccinations through mobile clinics and community events.
  • Continue door-to-door outreach and canvassing efforts to low-coverage areas –over 200,000 doors have already been knocked in communities throughout Michigan –to encourage people to get vaccinated.

The state is seeing cases, hospitalizations, deaths plummet for people vaccinated against the virus.

From January to July of 2021, unvaccinated residents accounted for 98% of the state's cases, 95% of the hospitaliztions, and 96% of the deaths.

"If we work together to increase vaccination rates, we can continue putting people back to work, continue our economic jumpstart, and ensure students can safely learn in the classroom," Ebersole Singh said. "So please: get your shots to keep yourself and your loved ones safe."