MESQUITE, Texas–A member of Neighborhood Credit Union has won nearly $50,000 after winning the top award in the CU’s Prize Savings Account program.
Ernesto Arce, a Navy veteran, was surprised when Neighborhood CU representatives presented him with a giant check for $49,999.99 when he arrived at the CU’s branch here. According to the Cornerstone CU League, Arce had thought he might win “a coffee cup or something.”
“This is a joke,” Arce was quoted by the CCUL as saying, before he was assured the prize was real. The funds were deposited into his Prize Savings Account.
Arce’s name was drawn from the ranks of credit union members who have a Prize Savings Account, a prize-linked savings account offered by the credit union.
Neighborhood Credit Union members receive one drawing entry for every $25 monthly average balance in their Prize Savings Accounts. The greater their savings, the greater the chance a member has of winning one of the weekly $1,000 drawings or quarterly $10,000 drawings. At the conclusion of each year, a winner is drawn for the $49,999.99 grand prize, based on the average monthly balance in their savings account at the close of business Dec. 31.
“Ernesto is a lifelong saver, dating all the way back to the start of his service in the Navy,” noted Neighborhood Credit Union Senior Vice President Carolyn Jordan. “His story is a terrific example of the benefits that can come from living modestly and saving for a rainy day.”
According to the CCUL, Arce became a member of Neighborhood Credit Union in 1984, when he began his career with the U.S. Postal Service. The 64-year-old veteran retired about two years ago.
“My philosophy has always been to buy what I need and save for what I want,” said Arce. “Saving money is the best thing in the world because you don’t know when the rain is going to come.”
When asked whether he had big plans to travel or spend the windfall, Arce said he already had seen the world when he was in the Navy and likely would just keep the money in his Prize Savings Account.
“This is the last thing I would have expected,” said Arce. “It’s definitely better than a coffee cup!”
A video of the presentation can be found here.