Credit Union Lotto: A Pretty Awesome Idea

I played the lotto for the first time last year, when the big prize swelled to over 550 million dollars. I'd never played before, partly because I am a firm believer that no one ever wins these things and also because I never had any extra dollars to throw away.

I bought that lotto ticket on a whim with a can of AriZona iced tea at a 7-11. During the week that led up to the announcement of the numbers I spent hours daydreaming about how I would spend the money - homes for my family, donations to charity, backstage passes to Beyonce shows. I couldn't wait!

Of course, I lost.

But I was able to experience what it was that got people excited about playing the lottery - the possibilities! That's why I think the "Save to Win" program that rolled out to 34 banks and credit unions is such a great idea. Here are the deets, from Nationswell:

Every $25 that a customer deposits into a special account (up to 10 deposits a month) earns them an entry in a small monthly prize drawing, as well as a yearly grand prize. Even if members don’t win one of the “sweepstakes” — American banks aren’t allowed to run raffles or lotteries — they get to keep all the money they put in, plus interest.

One of the credit unions that took part in the program saw about 800 members - an eighth of their entire membership - enrolled, saving an average of $300 extra.

That's pretty sweet, right? It has the bonus effect of training people to put their money into a specialized account (savings, anyone?) which is great. 

Does your credit union have something like this implemented? Are there any obvious major drawbacks to this program? Let us know below!


DeAndre Upshaw is a former Young & Free Texas Spokester. He's a marketing professional living in Dallas and a Beyonce enthusiast. DeAndre is the host and executive producer of The State of Awesome. Follow him on Twitter and check out his personal website.