COVID-19

Vaccine lotto draws first winner

It's still an open question whether the sweepstakes is drawing more people to be vaccinated.

Officials drew the first winner in the state’s MI Shot To Win sweepstakes. The person, who was vaccinated on Tuesday, will win $50,000. The state hasn’t yet released the person’s name.

The sweepstakes will draw 29 more $50,000 winners, as well as scholarships and a $2 million top prize.

Unfortunately, it isn’t clear if the new lottery is having an effect on vaccination rates in Michigan.

Bridge Michigan reports that county health departments haven’t noticed an uptick in vaccine interest.

“We had an open drive-through clinic last night in a parking lot in Battle Creek and we asked all who attended if they have heard of the [lottery] program and nobody had heard of it,” said Eric Pessell, the health officer for Calhoun County.

Despite the difficulty publicizing the program, state leaders announced that more than a million already-vaccinated people have signed up for a chance to win.

“It’s exciting to see so many people signing up for the sweepstakes as they are the best messengers who can encourage their family and friends to get their COVID-19 vaccinations and help answer any questions they have about the process,” said Governor Gretchen Whitmer in a statement.

You can read the full story here.