Michigan names 1st winners of $50K vaccination sweepstakes

July 14, 2021 GMT

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan officials announced the first four $50,000 winners of the state’s $5 million COVID-19 vaccine sweepstakes on Wednesday.

The four winners live in New Baltimore, Southfield, Detroit and Wyoming.

The state launched the sweepstakes with $5 million in cash and college scholarships, as well as a $2 million jackpot, a $1 million prize and daily drawings of $50,000 through July 30 in an effort to reach a goal of a 70% vaccination rate.

As of Monday, 62.4% of state residents ages 16 or older had received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, which amounted to a roughly 0.4 percentage point increase over when the contest was announced, according to the state health department.

More than 1.7 million Michigan adults have signed up for a chance at the cash prizes and 78,000 12- to 17-year-olds are vying for one of the nine $55,000 scholarships, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said before the first four $50,000 winners were announced.


Whitmer said she hopes at least 600,000 more residents will get vaccinated to help the state reach its 70% goal. She also cited concerns over the more contagious delta variant, cautioning residents to take it seriously and get vaccinated.

“I know it’s tempting to celebrate right now because we have been moving forward,” Whitmer said. “If you’re not getting your shot yet, the virus is still a very real threat to you.”

Cases of COVID-19 have plummeted from daily numbers that exceeded 7,000 in April. But the seven-day rolling average of new daily cases in Michigan has risen over the past two weeks, from about 153 on June 28 to about 226 as of Monday.

Any resident who was vaccinated between Dec. 1 and July 10 is eligible for the $1 million prize. Those who get a vaccine before the end of July are eligible for a $2 million prize.


Anna Liz Nichols is a corps member for the Associated Press/Report for America Statehouse News Initiative. Report for America is a nonprofit national service program that places journalists in local newsrooms to report on undercovered issues.