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Jackpot: Prize-Linked Savings for Seniors

Rebranding prize-linked savings to resemble common lottery games will give seniors a financially sound alternative to gambling.

Photo of Jordan King
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Who is your idea designed for and how does it support the dreams and obligations of those 50 and older?

My idea is designed for the two thirds of people in their 40s, 50s, and 60s play the lottery each year. Prize-linked savings (PLS) provides a gamified savings experience that seniors can trust. By shifting behavior away from win-or-bust gambling, a lottery-inspired PLS program could increase retirement savings while also providing the thrill of possibly winning a jackpot created through the collective interest of participating credit union members.

Even the most unlucky gamblers win with prize-linked savings (PLS) accounts. Offered through credit unions and nonprofits, these programs reward members who deposit money into savings accounts with a shot at a lump sum that is funded through a portion of all participants' combined interest. It's essentially gambling without the risk of loss, which is a match made in financial heaven. Jackpot would be a PLS program designed to resemble the lottery games seniors love, combining the trust of a financial institution with the fun of Vegas.

What early, lightweight experiment might you try out in your own community to find out if the idea will meet your expectations?

I could purchase actual lottery tickets with odds that would resemble those of a prize-linked savings program. I would then stand outside a gas station and ask if people are planning to purchase lottery tickets. If they say yes, I will offer to give them a free ticket if they deposit the money they would have spent on their ticket into the savings account of their local bank.

What skills, input or guidance from the OpenIDEO community would be most helpful in building out or refining your idea?

I'd love to hear thoughts on gamification, branding, gambling, and the creation of new credit union programs.

Tell us about your work experience:

My background is in communication. I worked in tech for the past few years before deciding to launch Bold Folks Home, a socially conscious film project that highlights awesome seniors in our society.

Please check all that apply:

  • I'm not currently involved in a credit union, but am curious to learn more!

This idea emerged from

  • A group brainstorm
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Team (4)

Jaskeerat's profile
Jaskeerat Bedi

Role added on team:

"Thanks for asking a meaningful question during the research phase!"

Kate's profile
Kate Rushton

Role added on team:

"Thanks for asking a meaningful question during the research phase!"

Jordan's profile
Faizan's profile

Role added on team:

"Thanks for asking a meaningful question during the research phase!"


Join the conversation:

Photo of Nicole Lopez-Conti

Hi Jordan,

Great concept. I wanted to be sure you've seen these cases in which the lottery-savings concept has worked well:

The UK and Australia have had success with these programs. There has been some resistance from state governments in the past with legalizing this in the US, but it looks like good progress has been made.

How might this iteration of the lottery particularly help those 50+? I was surprised to see that two-thirds of people in the age group play, this could be a powerful tool.

What questions might I be able to help with regarding of 'creation of new credit union programs?


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