We can all think of a person over the age of 50 in our lives whose "retirement planning" involves weekly "investments" in scratch-off lottery tickets. Lotteries took in $70 million in 2014 (source), and a survey of 5,000 Americans found that two thirds of people in their 40s, 50s, and 60s play the lottery each year (source). This boils down to a lot of money being wasted by a group of people who should be investing in retirement.
While we all hope our relatives will beat the odds and strike it rich, even the most unlucky gamblers win with prize-linked savings accounts. Offered through credit unions and nonprofits, these programs reward members who deposit money into savings accounts with a shot at a jackpot. It's essentially gambling without the risk of loss, which is a match made in financial heaven.
An example of PLS success:
"Doorways to Dream, a nonprofit organization based in Massachusetts, helped start Save to Win in Michigan five years ago. It is now the nation’s largest prize-linked savings program, having spread to Nebraska, Washington and North Carolina. The program has created 50,000 accounts that saved a total of $94 million ..."