Low-income underbanked consumers typically lack sufficient savings to cover short-term needs or unexpected expenses—let alone to build a nest egg for longer-term goals. For most people,spending money is far more exciting than saving it, especially when spending comes with the possibility of winning a jackpot. Unfortunately, 80 percent of lottery revenue comes from households with incomes less than $50,000. Even more startling: 38 percent of people with incomes below $25,000 believe that winning the lottery is the most practical way to accumulate large savings.

Innovative strategies are needed to encourage underbanked consumers to save. What if there was a way to redirect money spent on gambling into savings and to make saving fun?

In partnership with the Filene Research Institute and the Michigan Credit Union League, D2D Fund is testing that idea with a pilot program in Michigan called Save to Win. Launched in early 2009, Save to Win is a prize-linked savings (PLS) product—a savings vehicle that offers the chance to win prizes in exchange for a lower guaranteed rate of return. Popular internationally, PLS products have been largely unavailable in the United States until now. D2D Fund’s goal is to demonstrate the viability of a large-scale PLS offering in the United States.