HIGHLAND PARK, Mich. (2/9/10)--Eight Michigan credit unions have achieved “stunning results” through their Save to Win contest, which promotes member savings, The Washington Post said Sunday. In an article titled, “Credit unions launch a savings lottery, and everyone hits the jackpot,” Anne Stuhldreher wrote that the credit unions tried to get members to increase their savings by combining “the excitement of the lottery with the certainty of socking away cash.” With the program’s inception in January 2009, the participating credit unions said that for every $25 members saved, they would earn one entry into a drawing for the $100,000 prize one year later, the newspaper said. The credit unions also gave out monthly prizes of up to $100. Through the contest, credit unions also aim to attract new members and grow deposits. Participants could simultaneously join credit unions and open an account to compete for the prize, the paper said. “More than 11,000 Michigan residents opened accounts through the contest, saving $8.6 million throughout 2009,” Stuhldreher wrote. “People can open the accounts--they’re like certificates of deposit--with as little as $25. They need to keep their money in for at least a year and can make deposits as small as $1 as often as they like. “More than half of the participants said they hadn't saved regularly before opening their accounts,” she added. “About 60% admitted they played the lottery during the past six months. And 44% earned less than $40,000.” The Save to Win Program also was the topic Monday on MSNBC. Michigan Credit Union League President/CEO David Adams appeared on the network to discuss the program’s success. To read the Washington Post article, use the link.