I created a startup hacking the psychology behind playing the lottery to help people save money. We've given away $500,000 to users in the past year and are on track to give out $2m next year. AMA about lottery odds, the psychology behind lotterie...
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.
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!