WASHINGTON, DC — In an attempt to avoid having to borrow money from the Treasury Department to see it through an expected wave of bank failures, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (motto: “It’s F-D-I-C, not fadick … OK?”) is offering scratch-off lottery tickets with a top prize of $100,000 to depositors who agree to waive withdrawing funds insured for up to $100,000 in the event their banks go under. “It’s our way of saying “Thanks for kind of believing in us,”” said Sheila C. Bair, Chairman of the FDIC.
Each FDIC Mega-Bail Lotto ticket has a cash value of $1, which will be deducted from the $100,000 deposit FDIC is insuring. There will be one $100,000 prize and numerous lower prizes, ranging from $5 to $1 to coupons for free checking with approved credit and proof of no gambling addiction.
“This does not mean we can’t cover deposits of up to $100,000,” said Bair. “Its just a fun way to introduce bank customers to the world of high risk investing that our more well-to-do customers enjoy.” While it can’t compete with huge prizes offered by multi-state lotteries, Bair is hoping that FDIC Mega-Bail Lotto’s miniscule odds will keep people from wasting their money on these other lotteries with worse than miniscule odds. “It’s like Vegas without the topless showgirls,” said Bair. “Although a nice tip from a $100,000 prize winner just might convince a cute teller that she’s actually counting money at Hooters.”
Customers of failing banks are asked to schedule appointments to pick up their FDIC Mega-Bail Lotto tickets in order to avoid misleading lines outside the bank. All tickets must be scratched away from the teller counter with the customer’s own coin or FDIC-approved scratch-off device (no foreign coins, knives or lucky animal hooves of any kind are allowed). Customers not cleaning up their own scratched-off litter will be subject to a $2 fee — $3 if the scratching was done with an ATM card from another bank.
Lucky $100,000 winners will be paid at a rate of 1.5% of the total per month, or they can choose to receive a lump-sum payment of 50,000 FDIC Mega-Bail Lotto tickets. “Come on down and scratch your way to solvency!” said Bair.