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Mt. Pleasant Woman Wins First $100,000 "Save to Win" Credit Union Raffle

Lansing, Mich., Feb. 4, 2009 — Eighty-six year-old Billie Smith from Lake, MI, a member of Lansing-based NuUnion Credit Union, was presented with the first $100,000 grand prize for the Save to Win program. She is one of 11,666 members at eight Michigan credit unions who saved $8.56 million in the first year of the savings raffle. Each $25 deposit in a special savings account entered the saver in drawings for monthly prizes as well as the grand prize.

“We are excited about the potential for this prize-linked savings concept to be expanded in Michigan and one day, throughout the U.S. Our credit union community continues to be very energized by this concept,” says David Adams, president and CEO of the Michigan Credit Union League and Affiliates. “It helps make saving fun, at a time where our country simply needs to save more and borrow more responsibly. This is one of many programs that will help position credit unions as trusted advocates for their members’ saving, investment and borrowing needs. We look forward to an expanded program in 2010 that will help thousands more save on their way to a more financially secure future.”

Designed to appeal to credit union members who are not in the habit of saving, the program has helped many families who had been spending money on lottery tickets instead. A survey taken during the 2009 program found that 59 percent of participants had spent money on the lottery over the previous six months and that less than half saved money regularly before opening their Save to Win accounts.

Save to Win, which has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, and on Fox Business, was developed by Harvard Business School Professor Peter Tufano and managed by the Doorways to Dreams Fund (D2D). Along with D2D, the Filene Research Institute selected Michigan and MCUL-affiliate CUcorp for the 2009 pilot program because of a unique state law that allows for credit unions to organize savings raffles. Eight credit unions participated in the 2009 program:

  • Central Macomb Credit Union, Clinton Township
  • Christian Financial Credit Union, Roseville
  • Communicating Arts Credit Union, Detroit
  • E&A Credit Union, Port Huron
  • ELGA Credit Union, Flint
  • Frankenmuth Credit Union, Frankenmuth
  • NuUnion Credit Union, Lansing
  • Option 1 Credit Union, Grand Rapids

Save to Win is expanding in 2010 with 19 Michigan credit unions signed up to participate.

Save to Win and its prizes are underwritten and managed by the participating credit unions and CUcorp, a subsidiary of the Michigan Credit Union League. Working with the nonprofit the Doorways to Dreams Fund, CUcorp is laying the foundation for future expansion of the program across the U.S. Learn more about the program at

Organized in 1934, the Michigan Credit Union League is a statewide trade association representing Michigan’s 335 credit unions. Based in Lansing, the MCUL offers credit unions assistance in the areas of regulatory compliance, legislative advocacy, media advocacy and operational information. For more information, visit and follow us on Twitter at

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