NEW YORK (12/4/12)--States nationwide should consider expanding prize-linked savings (PLS)--such as Save to Win, a PLS program for Michigan credit unions launched by the Michigan Credit Union League--according to a Thursday Bloomberg column by Zara Kessler.
The article was written after two people split the record $587.5 million Powerball jackpot last Wednesday (Michigan Monitor Dec. 3.).
PLS is better than a lottery because those who don't win with PLS can keep the money they deposit in their accounts, Kessler wrote.
"In January 2009, the Doorways to Dreams Fund helped launch 'Save to Win,' (STW) the first scaled PLS program in the U.S., in eight Michigan credit unions," Kessler said. "Members of the credit unions were given the chance to save in a one-year, balance-building share certificate that earned interest; the accounts required only $25 to open, and each $25 added gave the account-holder a raffle entry (up to 10 per month) for monthly prizes and a $100,000 annual grand prize.
"By 2011, STW Michigan had over 25,000 unique accounts, with over $40 million saved at dozens of participating credit unions," Kessler continued. "This year, the prize design was altered to offer more chances to win at lower levels and a STW program was launched in Nebraska credit unions. North Carolina and Washington state will launch STW programs in 2013."
Because many states have legal hoops on lotteries, she suggested a federally sponsored program might be possible.
To read the column, use the link.