The Department of Health in Washington State had a massive problem: misinformation around the COVID-19 Vaccination was causing a dangerously low uptake across the state. People simply did not want to take the shot.
Shot of a Lifetime
A geographic comparison showed that the counties and demographics in Washington State with the lowest percentage of vaccinations, were also over-indexed for the likelihood to be Lottery players. That made it a perfect, high-reach platform for appealing to those less vaccinated groups.
With 48-hours to deliver a plan, we restricted ourselves to uncontentious past findings and evidence from our files and state data that had already been approved by the Governor’s Office.
We pitched for one large jackpot of $1 million, to make it a no-brainer lead message. The Governor pitched for federal aid, and the million-dollar prize was secured.
We kept it very simple, offering one lucky Washingtonian the chance to win a million dollars - just for getting vaccinated.
The core idea was easy to understand and align with. Like the best incentives, it didn’t try to force anyone to change positions. It gave people a fun and uncontroversial reason to get the shot, instead of waiting to get the shot until 'some other time'.
We also resisted taking the credit. It was a lottery, but it was only branded by the Department of Health; and we designed the campaign to look and feel deliberately unsophisticated, playful, and bright: like a county fairground.
The initiative took off like wildfire. Every TV nightly news program across Washington state began with a featured story, ensuring that our message would reach everyone. ‘Shot of a Lifetime’ was on 547 TV news stories in its first two weeks.
Within four weeks, 28,500 Washingtonians got vaccinated as a result of our draw entry mechanic.
According to the DOH, “After the announcement of the vaccine lottery on June 3rd, the rate of decline decreased in those 55 and older, stopped in those 18-54, and vaccination rates in unvaccinated individuals showed increases in those ages 12-17.”
Estimated Economic Savings