Save to Win Builds Momentum; Awards First Quarterly Cash Prize Drawing

Shawn Warren arrived at Fibre Federal’s Ocean Beach branch Thursday to pick up a check for $50. Warren knew the drill; as a Save to Win account holder, she’d previously won a monthly cash prize drawing. She’d pose for a photo, greet the staff and then figure out how to enjoy the prize. Or so she thought.

Branch Manager Jodyne Reid greeted Warren in the lobby.

“I do have something to tell you,” Reid said. “You did not win the monthly prize.” Warren’s shoulders dropped.

“You won $5,000!,” Reid exclaimed, explaining Warren had in reality won a much larger, quarterly drawing — the first in a restructured plan allowing members more opportunities to win big.

As Warren came to grips with the good news a surprise celebration erupted. Fibre staff burst through an office door blowing noisemakers. They presented Warren with flowers and cupcakes decorated with the Save to Win logo colors.

Of course we have the video.

Fibre is one of six Washington credit unions offering Save to Win; a prize-linked savings account intended to help consumers establish savings habits. For every $25 members deposit, they earn a chance to be selected in random monthly, quarterly and annual drawings for cash prizes ranging from $50 to $5,000. The prize pool is funded by the Northwest Credit Union Association and the participating credit unions share operating expenses. All of the savings deposited by members stays in their accounts, allowing them to build their financial assets while they potentially win additional cash.

Warren is one of 1,219 Washingtonians who’ve opened Save to Win accounts since the program was launched in April, 2013.

Warren, like many account holders who responded to a survey, indicated her savings habits were hit and miss before she heard about Save to Win. “The lure of winning more” drew her in and she plans to keep going. With a daughter starting college soon, she said, winning the quarterly prize was timely.

Save to Win was launched in Michigan in 2009. Today, 57 credit unions in four states offer the program to nearly 16,000 consumers who have collectively saved $38 million. The CU Solutions Group provides affordable, turnkey operational support for all participating credit unions.

Other Washington credit unions interested in exploring the Save to Win program should contact Amanda Brenneman, NWCUA program manager via email at abrenneman@nwcua.org or by calling 503.350.2208.

Editors’ note: Oregon credit unions are not able to offer prize-linked savings programs under current law. A legislative work group is exploring the possibility.

Questions about this story? Contact Lynn Heider: 503.350.2225, lheider@nwcua.org.

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