ISHPEMING, Mich. (9/11/12)--When Lynn Ylitalo, a member of Ishpeming (Mich.) Community FCU, clicked onto the credit union's website, her name was added to the more than 32,000 entries into Michigan's "Own Your Money" sweepstakes. Thursday she won the sweepstakes' $10,000 grand prize.
Lynn Ylitalo, grand prize winner of Michigan's $10,000 "Own Your Money" sweepstakes, celebrates with George Isola, general manager of Ishpeming Community FCU. (Photo provided by the Michigan Credit Union League)
"I was just doing my usual business on my credit union's website, when I saw the link to enter the sweepstakes, but I never actually thought I'd win," Ylitalo, 49, of Champion, Mich., said (Michigan Monitor
Sept. 10). "With one child already in college, one about to begin college, and another not far behind, this prize is truly life changing. It means the world to be able to contribute to my children's education, and I owe it all to my credit union," she said.
"We were thrilled to find out one of our members was the big winner," said George Isola, general manager of the Ishpeming Community FCU. "I could do this every day--give out checks for $10,000."
The sweepstakes, which ran from May 14 to June 27, was part of the annual statewide campaign aimed at raising awareness about Michigan credit unions, said the Michigan Credit Union League. The campaign also launched the CU Link, the online portal for Michigan credit union information.
Members and non-members were invited to watch a video about credit unions to be entered into the drawing for the $10,000 grand prize. Many credit unions, including Ishpeming Community, also had direct links to the sweepstakes on their websites. In addition to the grand prize, more than a thousand instant prizes worth a total $20,000 were awarded.
Michigan credit unions recently awarded $700 to another member who was winner of the first of three promotions on the CU Link Facebook page. The current sweepstakes, "What would you do with $1,240?" runs through Sept. 23. The prize is $1,240. The sweepstakes highlights another benefit of credit union membership: lower auto loan rates, which can save members an average of $1,240 over the course of the loan.