Hi! I’m Adam Moelis. I'm the co-founder of Yotta Savings, a 100% free app that uses behavioral psychology to help people save money by making saving exciting. For every $25 deposited into an FDIC-insured Yotta Savings account, users get a recurring ticket into our weekly random number drawings with chances to win prizes ranging from $0.10 to the $10 million jackpot. Even if you don't win a prize, you still get paid over 2x the national average on your savings. A Freakonomics podcast has described prize-linked savings accounts as a "no-lose lottery".

As a personal finance and behavioral psychology nerd (Nudge, Thinking Fast and Slow, etc.), I was excited by the idea of building a product that could help people, but that also had business potential. I stumbled across a pair of statistics; 40% of Americans can’t come up with $400 for an emergency & the average household spends over $640 every year on the lottery. Yotta Savings was the product of my reconciling of those two stats.

As part of building Yotta Savings, I spent a ton of time studying how lotteries and scratch tickets across the country work, consulting with behind-the-scenes state lottery employees, and working with PhDs on understanding the psychology behind why people play the lottery despite it being such a sub-optimal financial decision.

Ask me anything about lottery odds, the psychology behind why people play the lottery, or about how a no-lose lottery works.

Proof https://imgur.com/a/qcZ4OSA

Update:  Wow, I’m blown away by all of your questions, comments, and suggestions for me.  I’m pretty exhausted so I’m going to go ahead and wrap this up at 8PM ET.  Thanks to everyone for asking questions!

Comments: 1451 • Responses: 85  • Date: 

alhoekstar981 karma

Where does the lottery/jackpot money come from? How is it 100% free? Does this app take say a few cents from every account per month or something to fund this lottery?

yottasavings1524 karma

A traditional bank pays a tiny amount of interest to all of its depositors. We work with online banks that pay a higher yield and we use that yield to pay out most of the prizes. We are skewing the interest payments. This is a very common thing outside of the U.S. It's called Prize Linked Savings (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prize-linked_savings_account).

For the $10 million jackpot we work with an insurance company to be able to offer that.

calboy2506 karma

Great business idea! We have issues in South Africa where the poorest people play the lottery. I don’t think it’s that unique to any one country, but I work for the largest bank in Africa and wondering if they might be interested in such a concept.

yottasavings688 karma

Check out http://beniverson.org/papers/MaMa.pdf! It was tried in South Africa and got so popular that the lottery wanted to shut it down. Sad really

calboy2251 karma

No way! I’ll check that out. Sad the those Who profit off the poor would try to stop some thing that helps the poor

yottasavings135 karma


remarkablemayonaise75 karma

Why $10 million if there isn't a jackpot winner every week / month / year etc? Why not $1 million? Or $1 billion?

fightingpillow197 karma

I'm sure the monthly insurance premium on $1 billion was more than they wanted to pay.

yottasavings269 karma

Exactly. A decision between how much it costs us and how much value we wanted to provide. We want to scratch the same itch that users scratch from playing the regular lottery and felt that $10 million was the right number given the tradeoffs

alhoekstar42 karma

I'm Canadian, and I have heard of making money by putting money in a TFSA (tax free savings fund) and a percentage of that going to a stock portfolio that the app manages full time for you to try to earn max dollars. Is that sort of the same?

yottasavings82 karma

I don't know too much about TFSAs, but my understanding is that a TFSA is similar to an IRA in the U.S. This is different than Yotta.

It sounds like a TFSA is a special account you can save money in or invest in that grows tax-free as an incentive from the government to help people save for retirement. Yotta isn't involved in stock trading or investing, at least right now.

With Yotta, you can't lose any money whereas whenever you invest in stocks, there is a risk of loss.

badgerseattadpoles2 karma

How are you different to the UK Government's Premium Bond, originated in 1956 and running still. And also proven through a massive amount of research to show that you'd be better off putting your cash in a normal savings account.

This is such a con.

yottasavings3 karma

We are in the US and we provide more of a front-end gamified experience around the product. It's more fun, more social, and a more engaging of an experience.

Whether or not it is better than other savings accounts depends on the value coming from the prize linked savings program and also the fun of it. We score very highly in both those categories.

gporterfaith434 karma

I literally just created an account to shoot you a question!!

I originally saw yotta on Graham Stephan’s YouTube channel and signed up shortly afterwards. If someone wins the $10m are you guys going to be bankrupt? Should I be worried?

yottasavings465 karma

Nope we partner with an insurance company who would pay out the jackpot when someone wins.

Presently_Absent156 karma

How is that $10m lottery structured? I'm curious as to how/why insurance would cover it

zck824 karma

You can get insurance to cover many things like this. If there's a 1% chance of the jackpot being hit, then insurance would make money if they charged 2% of the jackpot. And this is worthwhile for Yotta because it's a fixed cost -- they'll never have to pay out ten million dollars.

It's worthwhile for the insurance company because they have many of these bets. So, on average they make money. The few losses they have are masked by the many wins. Yotta, on the other hand, has few bets, so the impact of a single loss is far more harmful.

yottasavings380 karma

This is exactly right

Jaredlong15 karma

What's to stop me from making my own yotta, getting some jackpot insurance, very poorly marketing the product, and then splitting the money when the only user / my friend eventually wins the jackpot?

yottasavings47 karma

The expected value from the chances of you winning the jackpot would be lower than the insurance premiums you are paying.

onedeep338 karma

Hi, Adam. I've been thinking of joining something like this unofficially (susu). When I go on your web page, it says win up to $10mil but it also says users have already won $500k.

So, does that mean the grand prize has yet to be won? Once it is claimed, will the process start over with a new grand prize? Finally, can you be a winner of, let's say $100, then later be chosen as a winner again? Thank you!!

yottasavings474 karma

Correct - we haven’t had a grand prize ($10m) winner yet. We anticipate keeping the grand prize at $10 million after someone wins. We currently partner with an insurance company who would pay out the jackpot when someone wins. You can win multiple prizes every week -- For example, say you deposit $250, you would earn 10 recurring tickets to our weekly drawings, this week 1 ticket could win you $0.10, 1 ticket could win you $10, and the other 8 tickets could win $0. Next week tickets reset and those 10 tickets could earn you prizes again.

Clapped291 karma

On the intro screen when it says Earn 1 recurring ticket into our weekly number draws for every $25 you save

and For deposits over $5,000 earn 1 recurring ticket for every $25 you save

What’s the difference between those?

yottasavings487 karma

This looks like a typo. For deposits over $25,000, you get a ticket for every $150. We will fix this thank you for flagging!

Thinkofyouincolors139 karma

Cool idea, how do my odds of winning any prize stack up against powerball? Sure I have zero risk in a savings account but if the chances are slim to none I’m not sure if it scratches the same itch I get from buying a lottery ticket? If there’s a decent chance at even winning like a dollar or something it piques my interest.

yottasavings277 karma

The odds of winning a prize with Yotta are lower on an absolute basis, but the expected value is much much much higher.

Just as important as the odds of winning are the odds of losing and the risk you are taking. With the traditional lottery, you are risking money. So even though your odds of winning are higher, the expected value is dreadful because you're paying something to get those better odds and the amount you're paying for those better odds is way too much on a mathematical basis.

The expected value of a lottery ticket is THE WORST gamble you can make on a mathematical basis. It's far worse than blackjack, roulette, crap, etc.

Thinkofyouincolors179 karma

Didn’t quite answer my question, but looked it up: https://www.withyotta.com/official-rules 1 in 9,913 chance at winning $7 and 1 in 867 chance at winning $.60.

yottasavings158 karma

Yup that's right. Per ticket

cmaronchick119 karma

I love this idea. I have hated the lottery for years and think it should die because it exploits the poor and uneducated.

Where do you think you can make the biggest impact in terms gaining adoption, particularly among those who need to prioritize saving?

yottasavings163 karma

The lottery definitely exploits anyone who is playing it with the hope of making money. If you're playing for entertainment and you know you're likely to lose half of what you put in, that's fine.

The craziest part is that it's monopolized by the government, meaning there is no competition, which is what makes it such a terrible value for people because they don't have to compete to make the odds reasonable given the risk.

We think Yotta can be appealing across all income demographics, but in terms of highest impact, we really hope we can help people save money instead of waste money on lottery tickets. With Yotta, you get the thrill of the lottery but even if you don't win, you don't lose, and over time you'll build up a substantial safety net.

cmaronchick34 karma

Thank you for responding. I had an office in downtown Seattle where there were a lot of folks living in poverty, and I think about how there were lottery ads in a bunch of storefront windows. How can you combat that kind of marketing?

yottasavings63 karma

We have to convey that with Yotta, you can scratch the itch of playing the lottery but in a responsible way. Freakonomics calls it a "no-lose lottery" which I think really grabs people's attention.

jaymdee112 karma

What regulatory issues did you have to deal with in order to run a “lottery” such as this? I remember listening to the freakonomics podcast years ago and they were describing how the U.S. Government made running such a venture difficult. Have things changed since then or were there things you had to do in order to comply with the legal requirements that made it harder? What laws would, if changed, make it easier to set up similar prize linked savings or similar ventures?

yottasavings184 karma

The American Savings Promotion Act (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Savings_Promotion_Act) was passed in late 2014, which formally legalized the concept at a federal level. There are more nuances to it, but that's the gift.

We are not a lottery. We operate as a sweepstakes, and not much has changed with regard to sweepstakes laws. To operate as a sweepstakes, we have to allow people to enter for a chance to win without making a deposit. We allow this in our official rules. People can mail in entries to us.

SailHard106 karma

Funny how mailing in an entry with a 55 cent stamp is more costly than depositing the $25.

yottasavings118 karma

Exactly why we don't get many mail-in entries

LittleBoiFound43 karma

Do people ever mail in entries?

yottasavings65 karma

Yes but very rarely.

Ilovekittensomg80 karma

What are the odds of someone making a net profit from playing the lottery?

I know many people that play, and you'll likely win SOMEthing if you play long enough. I've always believed that ultimately you're losing money, and even if you win you may spend that money on more tickets. Or are there people who win once and quit while they're ahead?

not_right243 karma

It's fun (or depressing) to look at a lottery simulator and see just how bad your chances are.

Like this one:

https://www.cuandomevaatocar.com/en/powerball/simulator/ or other ones online

Ilovekittensomg95 karma

That's neat, thank you for sharing! I quit playing the lottery years ago, but it's hard to convince people they're wasting their money. It feels cruel to rob them of hope, even though the system is designed to take advantage of them.

yottasavings64 karma

Exactly right

yottasavings122 karma

The odds of making a net profit are better the less you play it. If you play the lottery on a consistent basis throughout your life, you have almost no chance of making a net profit.

Any time the house has a mathematical edge where your expected value is negative, the more you play the game, the more likely you are to lose.

There are many people who quit while they're ahead, and you're more likely to be ahead if you don't play it consistently.

nicigar65 karma

Adam, this is a fantastic idea.

A lot of people (without financial troubles) dismiss Lottery players as fools, because “the odds don’t make sense”.

They don’t understand that the person buying that ticket is likely feeling severe stress about money, and is basically buying a period of time during which they can hope it all changes. It’s respite from the pressure.

Your idea is brilliant, and I’m thrilled to see the YC backing, strong traction etc. Great job.

How much of a challenge has dealing with gambling regulations, on top of all the regular financial regulations, been? Or has that not been an issue because of the ‘no lose’ status?

Keep it up!

yottasavings25 karma

Thanks! We operate as a Sweepstakes so basically you just need to have a way to enter for free. There's more nuance to that but you can see it in our official rules (https://www.withyotta.com/official-rules)

EvictYou58 karma

What is the reasoning behind why a lottery would have you just win another ticket? Is it just to make you go get another ticket and/or give you the false sense of a win?


yottasavings202 karma

Psychologically there is a binary component to where winning something, even if it's just a ticket or something else very small, provides the dopamine hit necessary to get you to play again.

People often buy scratch offs that cost $2 and even if they "win" $1 from the scratcher, they feel excited. Rationally this makes no sense since they lost $1 on the game, but we aren't rational!

Tuga_Lissabon120 karma

Lots of very educated people work with psychology and neuro-science to game our minds and get people to do things against their interest, you game minds to get them to do something in their interest.

Good luck.

yottasavings38 karma

Thank you!

BatmanThicc0 karma

I haven't seen a lottery ticket that pays out less than you buy it for. If you spend $5 on a ticket you either lose, or minimum win $5.

yottasavings6 karma

A lot of scratch offs have prizes less than what you pay for it

lildicknugs57 karma

My initial thought is this seems to be geared toward 2 distinct groups of people, 1) those who are actually interested in fiscal responsibility, savings accounts, that kinda thing and 2) people who enjoy gambling and games of chance. From a Venn diagram perspective, I’d be really curious to see how much those 2 groups overlap? Not much of a question lol sorry but curious about the research there. Or maybe I’m just totally off with this assumption of who you’re appealing to

yottasavings65 karma

You're pretty spot on there. Sadly I think group #2 is much bigger, and these are the people a product like this benefits the most since it helps them scratch the gambling itch without gambling.

MrGoldenPants52 karma

Why would I choose this over a more well know HYS account? (ie discover or ally) Your bank pays interest at 1/3 the rate of other insured banks with high interest rates.

yottasavings55 karma

The 1/3 figure you're using only looks at the amount we pay on a monthly basis no matter what. There is huge upside when you factor in the prizes and on an expected value basis, we are actually paying more than Ally/Discover/Marcus right now.

MrGoldenPants22 karma

What are your average prize winnings per year? Are you saying overall all winning will out pace 3x interest rates?

yottasavings32 karma

We pay at the high end of savings accounts out there on the market on an expected value basis. How much you win is a function of how lucky you are and how much you save.

mike_stb12351 karma

Basically you do what premium bonds do in the UK right? Save money and give people a chance to win big. If and when they want they take their money out.

What is the average interest people get? And how does that compare with putting the same money in a savings account? Also, what are the odds for the top prize? And lastly, compared to inflation, do your clients actually make money?

yottasavings47 karma

Yup exactly. The average changes but at the current prize rate and current odds, it's around 1.7% on average.

The odds for the top prize are 1 in 8 billion per ticket. This is the $10 million jackpot.

XwhatsgoodX50 karma

Will Yotta ever have a credit card that gets us tickets? Referrals can be tough after a while.

yottasavings87 karma

Yes we will likely focus on releasing a secured credit card at some point. To help people build their credit but not allow them to carry a balance.

XwhatsgoodX48 karma

Wonderful idea. Thank you by the way. My wife and I have saved more money than we ever have with Yotta. It’s a great idea.

yottasavings26 karma

Awesome! Glad to hear it!

RzK49 karma

Did you start this company because you needed to pay for gas, but some miserable old person ahead of you had like 40 lottery tickets for the cashier to go through?

yottasavings31 karma

That would be a good story. Unfortunately not. Super interested in personal finance and behavioral psychology and so using the psychology of the lottery to help people save as very exciting to me.

bobby_zamora48 karma

Isn't this just Premium Bonds?

yottasavings85 karma

We modeled a lot of our product after Premium Bonds. So it's similar, but with a more fun game mechanic and provided to people in the US. Premium Bonds is only for people in the UK.

SpookyGoPoof47 karma

Do you sell people's information?

How are you paying the salaries of employees or repaying debts‽

yottasavings74 karma

We do not sell any information.

We earn yield on the deposits (similar to a traditional bank) and are going to be launching other financial products very soon that generate revenue.

SpookyGoPoof26 karma

What are your yield earnings compared to what your individual account holder is earning.

yottasavings25 karma

We pass everything we earn through to our users

SpookyGoPoof17 karma

Do you have a way for people to invest in your business model now other than opening a savings account?

You said you plan to offer other services to generate revenue. What are some other these services going to be?

Do you do any kind of consulting for people that may win a larger some of money?

yottasavings27 karma

We are launching a debit card where we earn interchange revenue from the merchants when people use their Yotta card. That's one.

We don't do any consulting, no. I'm not sure I understand your first question. Can you rephrase it?

SpookyGoPoof21 karma

Can I invest in your business?

You are not a public traded company and just wanted to know if it's possible to invest.

yottasavings25 karma

Unfortunately not right now

musicantz11 karma

Correct me if I’m wrong, but don’t debit cards have pretty low interchange fees thanks to the Durbin amendment?

yottasavings17 karma

Depends on the size of the bank. With banks with less than $10B in assets, it actually is still pretty good.

BurtReltub32 karma

When does the Yotta debit card come out!? I’ve been a faithful user from the moment Graham posted his video about it and have a made a few videos of my own. Love the app! Thanks for making it happen!

yottasavings25 karma

Thanks for the support! Appreciate it. We will hopefully have virtual cards out in January and then physical cards coming in March.

EscuseYou29 karma

What keeps you honest in regards to rigging the jackpot? How is it randomized? Thanks!

yottasavings111 karma

We have a double blind system with our insurance partner. They pick the numbers. They can't see users' picks. We actually want someone to win the jackpot because it would be great publicity for us and we are already paying the insurance anyway.

ep201529 karma

Are funds in Yotta are FDIC insured?

yottasavings55 karma

Yes the funds are held at Evolve Bank & Trust, member FDIC. Your funds are insured up to $250,000 just like they would be at any other bank.

dagnydagny0228 karma

Can you pay that 0.2% guaranteed interest weekly (or daily)? I've been using for awhile and would have earned another ticket earlier last month but had to wait until 12/1 to earn that extra interest that would've gotten me to another $25 in balance.

yottasavings35 karma

Ah unfortunately it gets to be too complicated to do it more frequently than monthly

maccharliedennisdee27 karma

Is yotta only in America?

yottasavings38 karma

Correct - we are only in the USA right now but we hope to expand to other countries, eventually.

FanSportsDotCom26 karma

Are you worried that bigger fin tech companies may steal this idea and do it with bigger rewards and more perks?

yottasavings40 karma

I expect they will try to do something similar, but we believe our focus on the savings product specifically and this being our bread and butter will allow us to stand out no matter what.

InteriorFried24 karma

I currently stash my emergency savings "fund" with Marcus. Their rates have sucked over the past year but I can access fund quickly if I need to. How long does it take to withdraw from Yotta?

yottasavings41 karma

Typically 2 business days once the funds have settled. It takes 7 business days for a deposit to hit your Yotta account for fraud prevention reasons. But once it hits it takes 2 business days for a withdrawal to return to your other account.

dont_read_my_user_id22 karma

What is your favorite sandwich?

yottasavings25 karma

Chic-fil-a spicy chicken. You?

cybercuzco21 karma

How do you prevent someone from just withdrawing and redepositing? If I put in $1000 can I withdraw an re deposit to play again?

yottasavings53 karma

If you withdraw, you lose your top tickets for that week. We have mechanics like that to prevent people from gaming the system.

alexrothschild20 karma

How come it says win up to 10 million yet you've only given out $500,000 this year?

yottasavings48 karma

No one has won the jackpot yet. But smaller prizes are won very frequently. The biggest prize won so far is $5k. Odds are someone will win a Tesla sometime soon.

Spacey_G29 karma

Is there an option to take equivalent cash value instead of a Tesla? I really don't want a Tesla, or the headache of having to liquidate it.

yottasavings37 karma

Yup that option is there

alexrothschild10 karma

Awesome. I've been a member for about a month now. I've only got about $100 in my account right now but it's better than nothing. I heard about y'all from Graham Stephan.

yottasavings8 karma

Graham is great!

greatatdrinking19 karma

In GA, the lottery earnings go towards funding college scholarships. Namely the GA Hope scholarship which was pretty nice back in my day. Just needed to maintain a 3.0 and your in-state tuition was covered.

Concept being.. a state run lottery collects gambling $ that would have been spent anyhow.. At least they are going to a good cause. Essentially a sin tax.

Do you think your methodology is net benefit better for society and in what way?

yottasavings17 karma

If we can divert lottery dollars to savings accounts, then those gambling dollars to go something that helps build a safety net for people. There's no 6% commission from the stores selling the tickets. A lot of people buy lottery tickets who don't have an emergency fund. We want to change that.

pdxchris19 karma

I can’t imagine the legal and government regulations that you would have to navigate to set this up. How difficult was it?

yottasavings29 karma

There are a lot of companies that make it easier to work with banks now, but it still isn't easy. On the sweepstakes side, we worked with a sweepstakes lawyer who helped us setup the structure of the prizes and how that would all work. All in all, pretty difficult, not crazy difficult.

gatorfreak19 karma

Average household spends $53/month on lottery??? That can't be right. That's insane.

yottasavings16 karma

Tell me about it, I had a hard time believing the figures when I saw them myself. Here are a few resources with some stats on just how much Americans spend on lottery tickets every year.



Rune_Hughez17 karma

So to clarify, you give zero interest to people in order to fund a lottery so that a small amount of people get larger amounts of money from that "prize pool"?

If true, sounds like a decent idea. Interest in banks is so low that I couldn't care less about it, and a chance to win a significant amount sounds more appealing.

If false, this sounds sketchy as fuck lol

yottasavings40 karma

No one earns zero interest. Even if you never win a weekly cash prize we currently pay a 0.20% savings bonus to everyone which is well above the national average interest rate.

saymynamextwo14 karma

Have you seen McMillions, the story about how the McDonald's Monopoly promotion game was actually rigged for insiders??

How do we know Yotta isn't going to just give $10 million to a friend of an employee?

yottasavings16 karma

We have very strict rules with our insurance partner about how the numbers are drawn and how entries are submitted, and who can win prizes. The risk is never absolutely 0 but we are learning from the mistakes of others to mitigate risk to as close to 0 as possible.

cool_tool14 karma

Have you guys seen https://pooltogether.com/ ? Built on top of ethereum. Interested in exploring yields you can generate in DeFi?

yottasavings3 karma

Yeah we have seen this. Haven't dug too deep but it's a similar concept in the crypto space.

humanperson712 karma

This sounds like an amazing idea!

So it says in your post for every $25 deposited you get a recurring ticket? Do these reoccur forever or is there an expiration? Wouldn't the person with the most amount of money in savings (therefore the most $25 deposits), have a much higher chance of winning every week than everyone else?

yottasavings18 karma

Yeah they would have a better chance, but that doesn't take away from the other people (except for the pooled prizes). Same way if you save more money in a vanilla savings account you get paid more interest

flashfc11 karma

Is there a correlation between users who have won more than $1000 and the rate of withdrawals rate? If I win a substantial high amount, and I withdraw said amount and blow it on goods and services, what does Yotta do to inform the winner about behavioral changes when it comes to money?

yottasavings30 karma

We actually see the opposite. People who win withdraw less. This makes sense because they feel the excitement of winning and they want that feeling again.

We don't know what people spend winnings on if they do withdraw it, so we can't do anything right now to inform or analyze behavior change with regard to spending. Maybe in the future!

Presently_Absent9 karma

This is such a great idea - I hope to everyone's sake that it catches on!

Something that has always bugged me about playing the lottery is when people think they have "doubled their odds" or "doubled the chance" of winning when they buy two tickets. I think of it this way - if you have a one in five billion chance of winning a lottery where you have to match numbers to win, buying two tickets just means you have two 1-in-5-billion chances to win. Your odds aren't really any better, you just have two opportunities.

I see it as different from a raffle - say there are 100 tickets for sale - the more tickets you buy the better your chance because the winner is definitely being selected from that group, so the more tickets you have, the better.

Is there any math to back this up, or have I been wrong all this time? I feel like this has a lot to do with the psychological side... If you think more tickets = "better odds" then you are probably more likely to spend more and more...

yottasavings11 karma

If you buy more tickets, your odds of winning are higher. You likely will win more money. But you're also likely to lose more money. These things offset and you end up with the same expected loss on a percentage basis. And if the odds are against you, it just makes it more likely you will lose more on an absolute basis

FuKunTits9 karma

On average, do jackpot wins resulting from 'lucky dip' random number selection earn bigger prizes than number selected for specific reasons? (i.e. because they tend to have to share the jackpot less often)

yottasavings20 karma

You're better off picking numbers that are considered "unlucky" because then you, on an expectation basis, have less people to split shared prizes with

biscuit8529 karma

How does Yotta adjust the interest rate it pays users as the federal funds rate changes?

yottasavings9 karma

We adjust our prizes based on interest rates so we adjust up and down with fed funds

curvedfur9 karma

Kind of confused on how the company earn money and their employee, especially when giving such a huge money,

how do you pay the insurance?

yottasavings17 karma

We earn yield on our deposits and are also working on other financial products that will generate revenue. Similar to how banks make money.

scJazz8 karma

What is the overall payout in terms of dollars gambled vs dollars won? You can express it as a range as that info is somewhat business sensitive.

yottasavings25 karma

There are no dollars gambled. No money is ever at risk - it sits in an FDIC insured savings account. I don't want to put out a number here but it's important to note that people aren't risking their money.

Datacruncha8 karma

I like the concept but what's your rebuttal to you front loading all the good prizes for promotion? I.e. as more people sign up, the prizes become significantly lower for everyone making the service less valuable.

yottasavings16 karma

We will always maintain our all-in value competitive with the highest yielding savings accounts on the market.

Sev3n7 karma

Hey Adam!

How would you describe the sustainability behind this model?

I see you mentioned that a 10million jackpot won't break the company, so if it's not that, what is your biggest threat to Yotta?

yottasavings15 karma

It's a very competitive space. If a big FinTech player launches a copy cat product, that is a threat. We believe we can overcome it and continue to deliver a better product experience, but it is a big threat

onenuthin7 karma

In traditional lotteries, who really wins? Are the states and municipalities actually getting significant income from them or do banks and middlemen take big cuts of the profit?

yottasavings14 karma

Yes states generate billions a year from lottery tickets. Most stores that sell the tickets also earn 6%. The losers are most of the people who buy the lottery tickets.


Just curiously, are you looking to expand this idea? I feel like I have a direction in which this model would really work well. Given your expertise it would be relatively easy to implement, along with my CS skills. Would love to have the chance to discuss, unless you guys are focused on this vs. new ideas.


yottasavings11 karma

Shoot us an email at [email protected]

-CindySherman-6 karma

I don't believe this will have a meaningful impact on society without advertising at the same level as state lotteries. It is so obvious that states should replace their lotteries with your no-lose lottery, but this will require reversing the vested interests and status quo. Will this just be another scheme to make the Freakonomics listeners feel smart and morally superior, or do you think it can be scaled to have impact?

yottasavings8 karma

I think you're right, but I also think we will scale it to have the impact. We've tried to build the product in a very social way to allow it spread organically without the need for huge advertising expense. So far, that's worked very well.

States make a lot of money from the lottery so they don't want to lose that, which is why they haven't done a no-lose lottery concept themselves.

thisisfats6 karma

Do you have any plans to offer this service in the UK?

yottasavings18 karma

Eventually, yes, but right now we are very focused on the US market.

Greekbatman6 karma

How do the tickets work exactly? If I deposit $25 for 1 ticket, is it recurring or do I have to deposit another $25 to get a ticket for next week?

yottasavings4 karma

You got it - they are recurring tickets. If you deposit $25 today you will have 1 ticket in your account for this week’s drawing, 1 ticket for next week’s drawing -- 1 ticket into every weekly prize drawing until you withdraw the $25.

FanSportsDotCom4 karma

Who did you have design that poster you’re holding up with your name? They seem really talented

yottasavings4 karma

I'm an expert in chicken scratch. Maybe a chicken scratch AMA will be my next one.

Phiarmage4 karma

If I have money on a visa gift card, can I transfer this money to Yotta?

yottasavings9 karma

Unfortunately not. Needs to be through a bank ACH

zimbobango3 karma

Love this! Do you see a way to may this work where interest rates at 0% or worse such as many countries in europe currently?

yottasavings5 karma

I think the concept works better when rates are so low, since savings accounts are so unappealing and the chance of winning can be more tempting.

PrefixChemistry1 karma

Why did you introduce balance tiers to reduce the rate at which tickets are awarded for balances in excess of $25K?

(I'm asking this under the assumption that Yotta Savings has an objective to maximize the total amount of deposits, which may not be the case.)

yottasavings5 karma

We have some split prizes that are shared amongst all winners and we didn't want super large balances to take away value from some of the smaller balances.

Long tail large balances are also expensive for us.

xopranaut-2 karma

You’ve invented Premium Bonds?

yottasavings2 karma

We've brought something similar to the US!