With Prize-Based Savings, Everybody Wins

Save to Win gives members the thrill of a potential jackpot with the security of a cash reserve.

June 1, 2013

So, you think there are no guaranteed winners in lotteries? Then you’ve never heard of “Save to Win.”

The prize-linked savings program from CU Solutions Group gives members the thrill of potentially hitting the jackpot with the security that they’re building a cash reserve.

Washington became the fourth state to offer Save to Win after credit union representatives—led by Lee Wojnar, vice president of marketing at O Bee Credit Union in Tumwater—successfully lobbied the state legislature for approval to offer prize-based savings.

The program generated 213 new accounts at six participating credit unions in its first three weeks, including 75 at $835 million asset TwinStar Credit Union in Olympia. Monica Titley, assistant vice president/operations at the Northwest Credit Union Association, expects participation to increase when drawing winners’ photos begin circulating through social media.

Members receive one entry ticket for every $25 they place into a 12-month share certificate. Drawings will be held monthly for multiple $50 prizes, with three $5,000 awards granted next March. Also, members who opened certificates in April 2013 are eligible for a $5,000 grand prize one year from now.

A Harvard Business School study indicates that prize-linked savings programs appeal most to people with low to moderate incomes who don’t have regular savings habits, and could be a great first step toward better financial literacy.

Save to Win made its debut in 2009 in Michigan, where the program now boasts nearly 12,000 participants and total deposits of $28.4 million.