Excerpted from The New York Times

Prizes! Drawings! Free tickets!

A promotion for a carnival, or a used car blowout sale? Nope. It’s the sponsors of 529 college savings plans running contests in hopes of driving up participation.

May 29 is the annual “529” National College Savings Day, when the state-sponsored, tax-advantaged savings plans hold a variety of events to stir up interest. North Carolina’s plan, NC 529, will hold a drawing for a deposit of $1,529 into a winner’s account. Nebraska’s Nest 529 plan is offering $100 bonuses for new accounts opened by the end of the month. And Georgia’s Path2College plan will donate gifts of $1,529 to two babies born on May 29.

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