LANSING, Mich. (2/5/10)--Billie Smith, 86, a resident of Lake, Mich., has won a $100,000 grand prize from NuUnion CU in Lansing. She is the first grand prize winner of the Save to Win program, which was offered by eight Michigan credit unions in 2009. Smith is one of 11,666 members at the credit unions who saved $8.56 million in the first year of the Save to Win savings raffle. Members were entered into drawings for monthly prizes and a grand prize each time they deposited $25 into a special savings account. The Michigan Credit Union League, which is sponsoring Save to Win with the credit unions, said it is expanding the program this year to help thousands more members save. Nineteen Michigan credit unions have signed up to participate. “It helps make saving fun, at a time where our country simply needs to save more and borrow more responsibly,” said David Adams, Michigan league president. The program aims to help families save their money who would otherwise spend their money on lottery tickets. A survey found that 59% of participants in 2009 had spent money on the lottery in the previous six months. Less than half saved money regularly before opening Save to Win accounts. Save to Win has been featured in The Wall Street Journal
, The New York Times
and Fox Business
. The program was developed by Peter Tufano, Harvard Business School professor, and is managed by the Doorways to Dreams (D2D) Fund. Along with D2D, the Filene Research Institute selected Michigan and CUcorp, a league affiliate, for the 2009 pilot program. The eight Michigan credit unions that participated in 2009 are:
* Central Macomb CU, Clinton Township; * Christian Financial CU, Roseville; * Communicating Arts CU, Detroit; * E&A CU, Port Huron; * ELGA CU, Flint; * Frankenmuth (Mich.) CU; * NuUnion CU; and * Option 1 CU, Grand Rapids.