An 86-year-old member of the $856 million NuUnion Credit Union won the Save To Win savings lottery sponsored by the Filene Research Institute and eight participating Michigan credit unions.Billie Smith from Lake, Michigan, won the $100,000 grand prize.
Save to Win is an innovative program meant to help credit unions members increase their savings efforts. Every $25 members saved got them one entry in the lottery for both monthly prizes and the grand prize.
"This is innovation at work," said Denise Gabel, chief innovation officer at the Filene Research Institute. "We have been developing this idea with our partners and credit unions for a long time. It's gone through several iterations as a sweepstakes and now as a raffle, and it's so gratifying to watch four years of preparation lead to a $100,000 check for such a deserving member."
Designed to appeal to credit union members who are not in the habit of saving, the program has helped many families who had been spending money on lottery tickets instead. A survey taken during the 2009 program found that 59% of participants had spent money on the lottery over the previous six months and that less than half saved money regularly before opening their Save to Win accounts.