Whitmer announces the $2 million winner, plus scholarship winners of MI vaccine lottery

Grand prize winner from Bloomfield Twp.

Photo of Angela Mulka

Today, the final eight winners of the 30 prizes of $50,000, the nine four-year college scholarship winners who received vaccines and the $2 million grand prize winner of the MI Shot To Win Sweepstakes were announced.

“Thanks to the efforts of so many, and every Michigander who got their shot, the MI Shot To Win Sweepstakes has been a success,” said Whitmer in a video posted to Facebook announcing the final sweepstakes winners. “Every public health expert will tell you the middle of the summer always shows lower vaccination rates than any other time of year. In June, for example, we saw our vaccinations decline week over week for that whole month. But, the sweepstakes helped Michigan reverse that trend. First doses for the full weeks of July went from 28,000 to 30,000 to 35,000 to 41,000 in the last week of the month. And, that means Michigan recorded week to week increases for vaccinations throughout July during the sweepstakes moving from 61% to 63% and supporting the climb to the state’s goal of 70% vaccination rate. And now we’re past 65% with at least their first dose, as of the 20th.”

Over that same time span, more than 2.4 million Michiganders signed up to win cash prizes and more than 106,000 entered to win scholarships, according to Whitmer.

The sweepstakes began on July 1 and ended on Aug. 30, and included $5 million in total prizes.

The $2 million grand prize winner is from Bloomfield Township. Her name is Christine Duval.

She immigrated to Michigan from Montreal, Canada 13 years ago.

The prize money is helping Duval and her family achieve the American dream, according to Kerry Ebersole Singh, Protect Michigan Commission director.

“I have three children so I see college tuition in my future,” Duval said. “My husband and I would like to give back to a mental health charity that is very close to our hearts. And, maybe remodel our house to make it a home for our family.”

Duval was vaccinated in April at a local pharmacy in Southfield, Michigan.

The college scholarship winners range in age, with the youngest recipient being 12 years old. Below are the nine winners of the $55,000 Michigan Education Trust scholarships from the MI Shot To Win Sweepstakes:

•    Meadow Surman from Oakland County
•    Ian Miller from Wayne County
•    Mallory Wheeler from Hillsdale County
•    Josiah DeBaets from Kent County
•    Karan Choudhary from Wayne County
•    Jackson Wittwer from Macomb County
•    Landon Burkhart from Macomb County
•    Hudson Chambers from Kent County
•    Kamare Wright from Wayne County

Additionally, the remaining $50,000 daily drawing winners were announced this morning:

•    July 23: Todd Demeyers from Oakland Township
•    July 24: Alyssa Armstrong from Caledonia
•    July 25: Caleb Nielsen from Paw Paw
•    July 26: Brandon Ebright from Okemos
•    July 27: Kevin Underwood from Lowell
•    July 28: Brian Kulesz from Sterling Heights 
•    July 29: Jacqueline Paul from Indian River
•    July 30: Breya Matthews from Grand Rapids

“We’re going to keep making efforts to reach people where they are, answer their questions and help people get their shots,” Whitmer said in the video. “Our lottery was just one strategy we used to promote vaccinations. The work ahead is harder still, but we will get there. Michigan will move forward.”

From January to July of 2021, unvaccinated Michiganders accounted for a staggering 98% of COVID cases, 95% of hospitalizations, and 96% of deaths, according to the State of Michigan.

“So please, get your shots to keep yourself and your loved ones safe,” Whitmer said.

Below is the announcement video.