Gov. John Carney signed House Bill 31 on May 3, making Delaware the 15th state to launch a prize-linked savings program to encourage Delawareans to make regular deposits into their accounts.

Delaware also became the 22nd state to enact legislation allowing financial institutions to participate in such programs.

House Bill 31 was sponsored by Rep. Sean Matthews and Sen. Bryan Townsend, along with Rep. Helene Keeley and Sen. Cathy Cloutier. Under the legislation, savers will start out with a small deposit into a savings account. Each time they add to it, their chances to win cash prizes increases. With each deposit, account holders will be entered into the pool to win — similar to buying a ticket for a raffle. The chance of winning rises as the number of deposits increases. The bill clarifies that such programs do not constitute prohibited gambling or lottery practices.

The bill signing was held at Del-One Federal Credit Union in Dover, which will be the first financial institution in Delaware to launch a prize-linked savings program throughout its 10 branches.

Stand By Me, a statewide financial empowerment partnership administered by the Department of Health and Social Services and United Way of Delaware, is supporting this effort as part of its work to increase financial well-being for all Delawareans. Michelle Taylor, president and CEO of United Way, said the program will offer an added incentive for Delawareans to build their savings.

Information about prize-linked savings programs will be available at del-one.org or standbymede.org.