Powerball Jackpot Generates $13 Million For Scholarships - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Powerball Jackpot Generates $13 Million For Scholarships

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by Aundrea Cline-Thomas

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The odds were against them, but every person who bought a lottery ticket hoped they had the winning numbers. Many quickly learned that hope was gone.

"I know for a fact if I didn't have the Hope I wouldn't be able to be here," Lipscomb University sophomore Taylor Cao explained. "It's blessed my family and I so much to be able to provide me [the ability] to come to school here."

Cao has a hope of his own, but his comes in the form of a scholarship funded by the Tennessee Lottery.

"Financial aid was a really big thing for my mom and I because my mom is a single parent and raising three boys by herself," he said.

This most recent Powerball frenzy alone generated nearly $13 million for Tennessee's Lottery Education Programs, like the Hope Scholarship.

"It's guaranteed if they have certain scores and they have the right GPA that's $4,000 off their account just like that," Tiffany Summers, Lipscomb University's Director of Financial Aid, explained.

Just last year, state officials feared the scholarship money could run out in a decade. That's why when Tim Phelps, at the Tennessee Student Assistance Corporation, sees the Powerball billboards he has another reason to get excited.

"I think they're helping us pay our bills," he said, "and helping those students go to college."

So while instant retirement, the luxury car, and dream house are no longer in reach for most ticket holders, college is for thousands of students in Tennessee.

"They're helping me, so thank you. I applaud you so much for buying a lottery ticket because you're helping me stay in school," Cao said. "So I appreciate that."

To put it into perspective, last year nearly 103,000 students received Lottery-funded scholarships in Tennessee. That adds up to $313 million.

e-mail:  acline-thomas@newschannel5.com

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