Georgia Senate endorses prizes for savings accounts

The Senate Friday approved a bill that would allow banks and credit unions to offer prizes to people who open savings accounts.

Senate President Pro Tem David Shafer, R-Duluth, who sponsored Senate Bill 134, told his colleagues it would encourage people to save money at a time when "savings rates in this country are at an all-time low."

At least 20 other states allow financial institutions to offer prize-linked savings accounts, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Depositors who hold such accounts are entered into a drawing based on the number or size of their deposits in a given period. They have a chance to win prizes, which are funded through the interest that accrues across the pool of prize-linked accounts held by depositors.

The bill passed by a vote of 48 to 2. It now goes to the House of Representatives.