What if you could save money while earning chances to win cash at the same time? To encourage its members to build up their savings, Marshfield Medical Center Credit Union is offering a Saver’s Sweepstakes program.
“Nearly 40% of American adults do not have $400 set aside to cover emergency costs or unexpected expenses that may pop up,” said David Murphy, VP-Finance & Risk. “On the flip side, the average American spends nearly $220 on lottery tickets each year. This product looks to address both the spending and savings issues that plague our country.”
The Saver’s Sweepstakes is a savings account that includes the opportunity for MMCCU members to win monthly prizes, a program administered by the Wisconsin Credit Union League.
MMCCU was one of 14 credit unions to first roll out the product in late 2018 after the state passed legislation in 2017 to allow state-chartered financial institutions to offer savings promotion programs. Currently, 29 credit unions offer the Saver’s Sweepstakes product.
The account encourages individuals to build up their savings while at the same time providing a fiscally responsible alternative to playing the lottery or going to the casino.
“Similar to playing lottery tickets, members can use the funds to earn entries into winning cash prizes, but with the Saver’s Sweepstakes account, the member is in a win-win situation: the member has a chance to win cash prizes but also keeps the money in their pocket that normally would be gone if they were spent on lottery tickets,” said Murphy.
To discourage tapping into these savings, accountholders can only make free withdrawals in October. Otherwise, withdrawals are limited and there are penalties to discourage use of these funds.
Once someone has become a member of the credit union, they can request the Saver’s Sweepstakes program and sign the paperwork to set up the account. Members can make deposits as they wish, whether by setting aside money once a month or by tying it to their payroll.
“Accountholders can choose how many entries they’d like to submit each month based on their deposit activity,” said Murphy. “The best part is each month begins a new contest, so if a member chooses not to make a deposit one month, they can simply start saving the following month, and they would be eligible to earn entries the following month.”
Entries are earned each time a member makes a $25 deposit into the Saver’s Sweepstakes account, with a maximum of six entries possible each month. The deposits are added up at the end of the month and submitted to the Wisconsin Credit Union League processing center, which compiles deposit data for all credit unions in the state and selects a winner.
Six MMCCU members have won prizes so far, each receiving $100. The pool consists of fifty $100 monthly prizes, four $1,000 quarterly prizes, and one $5,000 prize to be announced in October. A special prize drawing will be held in November for all entries made in the past year. Ten special winners can win $500 just in time for the holidays.
Marshfield Medical Center Credit Union is a financial cooperative serving nearly 4,000 members. Membership is open to employees in healthcare and their immediate family. MMCCU is federally insured by NCUA. Member eligibility required. For more information, visit www.mmccu.com.