Save to Win 101

Playing the Lottery Without a Chance to Lose

Save to Win 101
September 22, 2015

Who needs scratch-off lottery tickets and Powerball? Some credit unions are offering a program that allows you to win prizes as you save your money, at no risk to you. Not surprisingly, the program is called Save to Win.

The program was developed in Michigan in 2009 as an innovative way to encourage lower- and middle-income residents to participate in savings programs and develop better savings habits. So far, Save to Win is available in six states: a multi-state pool in Michigan, Nebraska, and Connecticut, with individual pools in North Carolina, Washington, and an initial entry into Virginia.

To enter, join a participating credit union and open an account known as a Save to Win share certificate. A searchable list of credit unions is available through a drop-down menu on the Save to Win home page. You must be 18 years of age or older to open an account and must meet the credit union's eligibility requirements.

You can open a Save to Win account for as little as $25. The first $25 earns an entry into the prize drawing, as does every $25 increment deposited afterward. While the funds in the certificate earn interest, you continue to rack up chances to win drawings with each $25 deposited. (See individual credit unions for the interest rate paid on the certificate.)

You can deposit as much as you want into the certificate, but the entries are limited to ten per month. Withdrawals are limited to one per twelve-month certificate term with a fee of $25 (it is, after all, SAVE to Win). Penalties may apply for withdrawing all your money and closing your account prior to the end of the twelve-month term; see individual credit unions for details.

To be eligible for any particular drawing, your account has to be kept open throughout the period for that drawing (monthly, quarterly, or annually). Save to Win is limited to personal accounts only (no businesses) and to one account per person. There are no monthly fees associated with Save to Win, and as long as you keep at least $25 in the account, the account will remain open.

At the end of the twelve-month period, your certificate will automatically roll over into a new one, allowing you to keep entering for more potential prizes. You can, of course, choose to cash in your certificate at the end of the term, but with continued chances to win prizes, why would you?

Prizes and drawing times vary between credit unions. However, prizes generally range from $25-$100 for monthly drawings and can be as large as $10,000 for the annual grand prize drawing. A complete list of the prizes and drawing periods may be found on the Save to Win website. Individual credit unions may also hold their own drawings and prizes off of the account, and it is possible to win both a credit union prize and a Save to Win prize in one drawing period. There is no hassle in claiming prize winnings; they are simply deposited in your account.

If you are struggling to save and have difficulty establishing a savings mindset, consider the Save to Win program. It's a nice incentive to establish savings while having fun and potentially winning prizes. Save to Win certainly is not Powerball or even a scratch-off ticket, but with Save to Win, you are not paying money for the privilege of playing — and you will not be getting any interest benefits from a lottery ticket.


Photo ©iStock.com/CareyHope

  Conversation   |   31 Comments

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Daniel Dohlstrom | 09.22.15 @ 17:01
Now this is pretty interesting. A clever way to get people in the door and opening accounts.
Erin | 09.22.15 @ 17:02
That sounds like a fun way to save money and would be great for kids too.
Steffanie | 09.22.15 @ 17:02
A good way to encourage people to save.
Katie Greene | 09.22.15 @ 17:04
Cheaper than playing the regular lottery. I know a few people who play and frequently lose at least $25 per month. This is a much better idea
Irene | 09.22.15 @ 17:06
What a fun idea!
Angie | 09.22.15 @ 17:07
Very innovative idea! I'd certainly do it if it were available in my state!
Christina | 09.22.15 @ 17:09
I sure could use something like that! What a great incentive to save :)
Bobbie | 09.22.15 @ 17:09
This is pretty cool, and with no fee a very obtainable goal for a lot of people. They need to bring this to my credit union, I would so rock this.
Sara | 09.22.15 @ 17:11
Hmm that is somewhat interesting. I have never play the lottery so did not know about it.
Nancy | 09.22.15 @ 17:15
It's certainly a new approach to getting someone to not only save money by also to not touch it for a period of time. Beats getting a pen for opening an account.
Heather | 09.22.15 @ 17:16
What a great way to encourage people to save money. Now this is a sure win!
Beverly | 09.22.15 @ 17:18
What a great idea to get people to start saving money!!
Sarah | 09.22.15 @ 17:24
That's one of the more unique ploys I've seen to get people to use a bank. Sounds like it could be a winner (pun TOTALLY intended).
Britt | 09.22.15 @ 17:25
Totally a good way to encourage saving!
Kyle | 09.22.15 @ 17:29
This actually sounds like an awesome idea.
Kailie | 09.22.15 @ 17:32
This is awesome. I'd do it.
Morgan | 09.22.15 @ 17:35
This is pretty awesome and a great way to encourage savings.
Angie Taylor, Insurance Agent in Montevallo, AL | 09.22.15 @ 17:40
Something like this would TOTALLY make me want to save more.
Elaine | 09.22.15 @ 17:46
Pretty interesting concept.
Jennifer Sears | 09.22.15 @ 17:51
Definitely an interesting program.
Kamie | 09.22.15 @ 17:59
I am definitely going to be checking this out.
trish | 09.22.15 @ 18:00
We have been discussing joining a credit union. Great information!
Ron | 09.22.15 @ 18:02
So, it sounds like a "giveaway" when it is just a regular certificate of deposit? If gets folks (read:me) to actually save, then have at it!
Carla Truett | 09.22.15 @ 18:10
As long as you are going to open an account, it might as well be at one of the Save to Win locals. It's a win win!
Crystal | 09.22.15 @ 18:14
This is a really great way to get people to save!
Debbie | 09.22.15 @ 18:15
This is a great idea and good incentive!!!. My daughter just opened her first bank account and a savings account too. every time she uses her atm card $1 goes into her savings from her checking account. Wish they had that when I was just starting out maybe I would have learned to save more
Donnie | 09.22.15 @ 18:27
Would be great for kids. Such a neat idea
Christina | 09.22.15 @ 18:29
I wish they had this at our credit union. What a good way to save money, and also be good for kids.
Rindy | 09.22.15 @ 18:31
What a great way to save money and possibly win more money! I have never heard of this and have a hard time saving. This may be the incentive I need.
George Middleton | 09.22.15 @ 18:39
A good way to get business. Who wouldn't want to do this.
Ambar | 09.22.15 @ 18:49
That's a great to encourage people to save money, especially for kids and teenagers.
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