The charitable arm of Connecticut’s credit union trade group has partnered with the state’s lottery agency to offer financial advice to lottery winners.
The Connecticut Lottery Corp., a quasi-public state agency, and Credit Unions Building Financial Independence, the nonprofit charitable arm of the Credit Union League of Connecticut, have launched a financial literacy and education campaign to provide free financial advice to Connecticut Lottery cash prize-winners.
The program, called “Wise Winnings,” will also provide tips to help winners plan for “a sudden windfall,” and the CLC and CUBFI said in a statement that this is the first joint effort of this kind in the country.
Connecticut Lottery winners will be able to find and meet with a trained credit union financial counselor to create a plan for their money, the statement said. A dedicated website has been established for the program, and lottery players who win $600 or more will receive an informational brochure about the program with their prize check.
“The Connecticut Lottery always encourages our players to enjoy our games responsibly, and that includes after winning,” Rob Simmelkjaer, the CLC’s board chair, said in the statement. “We’re grateful to CUBFI for joining us in this effort, and we hope our players will leverage the Credit Unions’ fully accredited financial advisors so they can make the most of their money – whether it be $600 or $600 million.”
CUBFI focuses on helping people build and maintain financial independence, the statement said. Initiatives supported by the organization include programs to offer food and fuel assistance to people in need, the national CUAid program that provides credit union employees with disaster relief, and financial reality fairs that provide financial education to Connecticut high school students.
“From the days of the Great Depression through today, credit unions help people. We are here for them in good times and bad, and in times of financial surprise – working with the Connecticut Lottery to assist lottery winners is the newest iteration of that principle,” Bruce Adams, president and CEO of the Credit Union League of Connecticut, said in the statement. “Financial well-being includes the ability to absorb financial shock, which can come in many forms – whether it is coming into a lot of money quickly or finding yourself in sudden debt. Thank you to the Connecticut Lottery for partnering with us to help lottery winners achieve greater financial well-being.”
The new program is part of a larger Connecticut Lottery initiative aimed at responsible gambling efforts, the statement said, including educational campaigns on how to gamble safely, contributions toward problem gambling programs and services, and retailer and employee trainings.
The CLC and CUBFI said they plan to promote the Wise Winnings program on their websites and social media accounts.