State to offer cash for COVID-19 vaccinations 

By: - July 1, 2021 12:33 pm

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer gives her third State of the State address, Jan. 27, 2021 | Whitmer office photo

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Thursday announced that the state will offer a lottery-style raffle designed to give Michiganders who have gotten vaccinated against COVID-19 a chance to win $5 million in cash and a combined total of nearly $500,000 in college scholarships.    

The “MI Shot to Win Sweepstakes” is open to residents aged 18 and older who have received one dose of vaccine and are eligible to register for a combined total of $5 million in cash giveaways. Similar efforts have been carried out in Ohio, New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Oregon, Colorado and other states. 

COVID-19 vaccination prizes

  • $1 million drawing: There is one $1 million drawing prize for Michiganders age 18 and older consisting of an award as a check or electronic transfer to the confirmed winner.
  • $50,000 daily drawings: There are 30 daily drawing prizes of $50,000 available for state residents age 18 and older, each consisting of an award as a check or electronic transfer to the confirmed winners.
  • $2 million drawing: There is one $2 million drawing prize for Michiganders age 18 and older consisting of an award as a check or electronic transfer to the confirmed winner.
  • Scholarship drawing: There are nine scholarship drawing prizes available for Michiganders between ages 12 to 17 whose parents enter on their behalf. Each scholarship drawing prize consists of a four-year Michigan Education Trust (MET) Charitable Tuition Program contract (valued at $55,000) that may be used to pay for tuition and mandatory fees at a college or university in accordance with MET terms and conditions.

“This sweepstakes gives every Michigander who’s been vaccinated a shot to win cash or college scholarships,” Whitmer said. “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. If we all roll up our sleeves and do our part, we can all win big.”

In addition, the effort will offer the opportunity to win one of nine scholarship drawing prizes available to vaccinated Michiganders between ages 12 to 17 whose parents enter on their behalf. Each scholarship drawing prize consists of a four-year Michigan Education Trust (MET) charitable tuition contract (valued at $55,000) that may be used to pay for tuition and mandatory fees at a college or university in accordance with MET terms and conditions.

The sweepstakes began Thursday and will end on Aug. 3. The aim is to increase the state’s vaccination rate by roughly 9% – or approximately 767,000 Michiganders – to achieve the statewide goal of 70% of residents age 16 and older who are immunized. 

As of Tuesday, 61.7% (more than 4.9 million Michiganders) aged 16 and older have received their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccination, according to Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) data. To reach 70%, a total of 5,667,842 residents aged 16 and older will need to be immunized.

“The data reflect that the vast number of Michiganders who are not yet vaccinated are actually not opposed to getting vaccinated,” said Elizabeth Hertel, DHHS director. 

The effort is sponsored by Meijer in partnership with the Michigan Association of United Ways and the State of Michigan and 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, the Protect Michigan Commission and others organizations. 

“We are thrilled that the COVID-19 vaccine has made a positive impact throughout the communities we serve, but there is more to be done,” Larson said. “… The MI Shot to Win is a great way to make the vaccine more available to more people and encourage those to take advantage of it for their health,” said Michigan Association of United Ways President and CEO Mike Larsen.

Correction: The story originally had the wrong start date for the contest.

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Ken Coleman
Ken Coleman

Ken Coleman covers Southeast Michigan, economic justice and civil rights. He is a former Michigan Chronicle senior editor and served as the American Black Journal segment host on Detroit Public Television. He has written and published four books on black life in Detroit, including Soul on Air: Blacks Who Helped to Define Radio in Detroit and Forever Young: A Coleman Reader. His work has been cited by the Detroit News, Detroit Free Press, History Channel and CNN. Additionally, he was an essayist for the award-winning book, Detroit 1967: Origins, Impacts, Legacies. Ken has served as a spokesperson for the Michigan Democratic Party, Detroit Public Schools, U.S. Sen. Gary Peters and U.S. Rep. Brenda Lawrence. Previously to joining the Advance, he worked for the Detroit Federation of Teachers as a communications specialist. He is a Historical Society of Michigan trustee and a Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metropolitan Detroit advisory board member.

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