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This Game Is the Best Way to Gamble with Your Tax Refund

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Blowing your tax refund on lottery tickets is about the worst way to spend your annual windfall. But that doesn't mean you can't have any fun with the money you overpaid to Uncle Sam. The financially sound and fun thing is to save at least some of your refund and enter the SaveYourRefund contest.

Doorways to Dreams, the sponsor of the SaveYourRefund campaign, is a nonprofit financial innovation lab in Boston that develops strategies to encourage people to save. By the end of the tax season, D2D will have given out $35,000 in rewards to savers.

The campaign is open to any tax filer who completes IRS Form 8888 and sends at least $50 of their refund into "a savings account, certificate of deposit, IRA, prepaid card, savings bond or Treasury Direct account." There will be one $25,000 grand prize and 100 $100 prizes.

The campaign (a partnership between D2D, Intuit, Capital One and the Ford Foundation) is designed to encourage Americans to set aside money for emergencies or for future financial needs. According to D2D, the majority of Americans don't have enough savings to handle a job loss, unexpected medical bills or another emergency.

So if you are drawn to playing games of chance with your tax refund, this is one gamble where you are guaranteed to come out ahead -- even if you don't win a prize.

Michele Lerner is a Motley Fool contributing writer.

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