LANSING, Mich. — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced the first four winners of the $50,000 daily prizes on Wednesday.
The winners are part of the MI Shot to Win vaccine sweepstakes which are designed to encourage Michiganders from across the state to get vaccinated.
The first winner, Amber Berger of New Baltimore, Michigan won after getting her shot on July 1. She explained that she wanted to get vaccinated because she saw firsthand how sick people in her community got with COVID-19.
“I got [the vaccine] for a couple of different reasons,” she said. “One of them is I want to go on vacation and to also help keep everyone safe. I, unfortunately, know quite a few people that have been affected by COVID, my husband was very sick and in the hospital with COVID.”
Berger admitted that she went to get vaccinated without knowing about the vaccine sweepstakes.
“I understand that it’s a scary thing to let something new into your body but if it’s going to help protect one person as well as yourself and your family, why not do it?” she asked.
Adrienne Peterson of Southfield, Michigan won for the July 2nd drawing. Peterson is planning on using the money to buy a new house.
Next, Christopher Ackerman of Detroit got his vaccine on July 3rd. Ackerman explained that he wanted to get vaccinated so he could remove his mask. He said he has no immediate plans for the new money.
“It just came as a surprise and I’m happy I got vaccinated because first off I’m safe, keep my family safe and look I just won some money,” he said. “So, Michigan let’s all get out and get vaccinated.”
Finally, Larita Lee of Wyoming, Michigan is the fourth and final winner of the first set of daily prizes. She credits the sweepstakes for encouraging her to get vaccinated but was also concerned about the rising prevalence of the Delta variant. Lee got her shot on the 4th of July.
So far, despite the lottery incentive, there hasn’t been a staggering uptick in the vaccination rate across Michigan.
“We are withholding judgment [on the sweepstake’s effectiveness] I will say we are encouraged by Bloomberg, their news organization published some encouraging data that compared to other states Michigan is seeing a higher uptick than in prior weeks,” said Kerry Ebersole Singh who serves as the director of the Protect Michigan Commission.
Singh said she hopes to have more information and clearer data by next week.
She explained that polling of Michigan residents has shown that about 20 percent of Michiganders aren’t against getting a vaccine.
“It just hasn’t been a priority for them to get it done,” she said. “So by offering this opportunity potentially to win some cash or a scholarship to college we’re hoping that gives some urgency on top of the public health realities.”
Want to see more local news? Visit the FOX47News Website.
Stay in touch with us anytime, anywhere.
Sign up for newsletters emailed to your inbox.
Select from these options: Breaking News, Severe Weather, School Closings, Daily Headlines, and Daily Forecasts.