After I wrote "Teach Your Kids to Save," I received an interesting email from the folks at ING (NYSE:ING). Jeff Mirabello wanted me to know that ING also believes in financial literacy for young savers. To that end, the company recently launched a "children's book-writing contest." Participants (aged from 6-12, 13-19, and 20-plus) are invited to contribute a story teaching a money management lesson; in return, they could win $1,000.

ING's contest isn't the only one out there that might pique Fools' interest:

  • The Templeton Prize offers more than $1 million (!) to the person who "best exemplifies "trying various ways for discoveries and breakthroughs to expand human perceptions of divinity and to help in the acceleration of divine creativity." It's named for Sir John Templeton, a billionaire and successful mutual fund manager. Although Templeton himself stopped managing his landmark fund, Templeton Growth, it's still around as part of the Franklin Templeton Investments (NYSE:BEN) family of funds.
  • You might also win a million smackers from CNBC, in its latest contest. Fellow Fool Bill Barker recently offered tips on how to win.
  • Readers with a sweet tooth might opt for eating lots of Jelly Belly jelly beans. Their maker is running a promotion with thousands of "instant win" prizes. You can also submit a recipe for a new Jelly Belly flavor, and if you win, you'll take home $10,000.

But the more I thought about all these prizes and the effort it would take to chase them, the more exhausted I got. I think many of us would be better off spending less time on a pursuit that offers a big payoff: financial security.

  • Invest effectively. If half your life savings are sitting in a bank savings account or a CD earning 3%, that's not going to grow too quickly over 25 years. It might not even beat inflation!. Look into stocks, if you haven't already done so. A simple index fund might be all you need.

Still, if the thrill of entering a contest appeals to you, go for it!

In fact, I encourage you to consider trying to win a full $5,000 -- from us. We recently kicked off a contest tied to our (very funny, if you ask me) 27-second stock pitches on our CAPS service. We're soliciting videos from you, our readers, and we'll award $5,000 to the contestant who submits the video that gets the most votes. I encourage you to enter and vote for your favorite.

At the very least, check out the videos we've got running so far. We've had some really clever and amusing entries!

Longtime Fool contributor Selena Maranjian owns no shares of any company mentioned above. The Fool has a disclosure policy.