Big Shot Grand Prize Winner, Michael Faithe, is presented with a check for $58,200.

Michael Faithe, 39, of Grand Junction, was selected as the Grand Prize winner of the Big Shot giveaway. The program provided a financial incentive for COVID-19 vaccination and was made possible by community partners in Mesa County including; Colorado Mesa University, Rocky Mountain Health Plans, Community Hospital, St. Mary’s Hospital, Colorado Canyons Hospital/Family Health West, Grand Junction Media, Home Loan Insurance, Trailhead Clinics, Grand Junction Regional Airport, Hope West, and the Mesa County Medical Society.

Faithe accepted the $58,200 check with his wife and son by his side saying as someone with a science background, he did his research about the safety and effectiveness of the vaccines before making the choice to get the shot.  “After carefully reviewing the data from the vaccine clinical trials and weighing in the short and long term complications associated with getting infected versus getting the vaccine, it was a no brainer. In my mind, the benefit of the vaccine outweighed the risks. Other contributing factors were a desire to return to a sense of normalcy for my family and to protect the community.”

“Every COVID-19 vaccine dose is valuable,” Jay Seaton, publisher of the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel and Big Shot contest sponsor said, “but this one is really valuable!” Faith’s vaccine dose in April of 2021 represents one dollar of the grand prize which grew from less than 45 thousand dollars at the start of the program. For every fully vaccinated resident, one dollar ($1) was added to the Grand Prize jackpot. As of July 31, there were 58,200 fully vaccinated residents in Mesa County or about 43% of the county’s estimated population.

In addition to the Grand Prize, two $500 prizes were awarded each week from June 1 to July 31. Thanks to the generosity of our partners, that money went right back into our economy. The oldest weekly winner, a woman in her 80s, planned to use the money to buy yarn to knit a sweater for the cooler months. Another winner was able to make needed car repairs to give her a way to get to work. And one of the youngest winners had been saving for a school trip and used the cash for that learning experience. You can view the previous winners in a slideshow on the Mesa County Public Health website

Faithe plans to use the money to give back to our community, “this community has given us so much we plan to donate some of it and put some away for our son’s college education.”COVID-19 vaccines are provided free of charge. No ID or proof of insurance is required. Walk-in or make an appointment at the community vaccination site located at 510 29 ½ Road. Clinic hours are Wednesday through Friday from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.