Vaccine lotto comes to an end

Officials call it a success, though the state is still short of its goal. Did Michigan's vaccine sweepstakes make a difference?

Five million dollars. That’s how much the state spent on the MI Shot To Win COVID-19 vaccine sweepstakes.

168,850 people. That’s how many Michigan residents received their first dose of a coronavirus vaccine since the sweepstakes was announced July 1.

Sign up for our daily newsletter

A weekday morning email roundup of Kalamazoo stories and events.

That’s almost $30 per new person vaccinated. Was it worth it? State leaders say yes.

Brian Calley is the president of the Small Business Association of Michigan and one of the people who announced the latest batch of sweepstakes winners.

“The truth is, every single day, when a certain number of people get vaccinated, the pool of people remaining, by definition, are harder to reach and harder to convince than those who made the decision before,” he said. “So as we celebrate the sweepstakes winners today, we can do so knowing that progress was made in July.”

That’s one way to look at it. Another way is to look at the sweepstakes’ original goal.

In announcing the lotto, Governor Gretchen Whitmer said she hoped to get another 700,000 Michiganders vaccinated. The state fell far short of that number. In fact, the percent of people vaccinated in the state rose just 2.1 percentage points – from 61.7% to 63.8% – during the month of July.

[Bridge Michigan, MLive]

Support local. Donate today to Kalamazoo's only locally owned and independent daily news organization.