MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — It’s a lottery with no risk, but it does have a great reward.

We’re talking about a program that quietly launched last year in Minnesota – and you can easily be a part of it.

Here’s the story of someone who did join:

Whether it’s biking in San Diego, exploring in Ireland or taking in the view of Stonehenge, Laura Helmbrecht likes adventure. Except in one area.

“I don’t really like playing the lottery or pull tabs because I tend not to win those things,” Helmbrecht said.

The 29-year-old opened her first savings account at 14.

“I’ve always had a hard time spending money, I’m not sure why. My parents instilled it in me,” Helmbrecht said.

When she heard Wincentive had been signed into law in Minnesota last year, she leaped at the concept she’d heard about on a Freakonomics podcast.

“When I heard them say a ‘No lose lottery’ that’s what clicked,” Helmbrecht said.

At a ceremony celebrating the first year of the program, the lawmaker behind it took the mic.

“This is a great example in teaching people about financial literacy and getting them to sweeten the pot,” Rep. Jennifer Loon said.

The premise: If you open an account at a participating credit union like Laura did and contribute $25 a month, you’ll be entered in regular cash lottery drawings for $100, $1,000 and up to 5,000 dollar a year.

If you deposit $100 a month, you can be entered up to four times for the drawings. That’s what Helmbrecht did and… she won.

She plans to save some and of course travel with the rest. This time, Florence to see her cousin and her cousin’s best friend.

“I would still take that money I saved over the past year and do something fun with it even if I didn’t get the extra incentive of the winning,” Helmbrecht sad.

But, she admits, “It totally helped!”

About 4,000 Minnesotans have enrolled since the program has been available.

Here is more information on program details and the odds.

Susan-Elizabeth Littlefield