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In the U.S., a consortium of credit unions created a certificate of deposit with lottery-style drawings though a loophole in Michigan law that allows credit unions to create “savings promotion raffles.” Save to Win, launched in 2009, helped 11,500 people save $8.5 million in 2011. Save to Win diverts lottery expenditures into savings. Unfortunately, legal obstacles impede widespread implementation.

Too many Americans are just a medical bill away from financial ruin. Innovative programs, however, can engage Americans in setting aside money for all aspects of life. That’s the best culture for upward economic mobility.

Diane Calmus is a former research assistant in the Center for Policy Innovation at the Heritage Foundation.