Tennessee students winning when you pay to play Mega Millions

Tennessee students winning when you pay to play Mega Millions

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By LAURA HALM
6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - Whether your Mega Millions ticket makes you a multi-millionaire Tuesday night or not, Tennessee students are really the big winners. 

Lottery officials say more than $2.8 billion has been raised for education and scholarships from ticket and scratch-off sales.

Andrew Ramsey is a senior studying business at the University of Tennessee. He'll be graduating this May and, so far, he says college has been challenging.

"A lot of studying and I've had a job outside of that as well. I've had an internship, a job here at the library, and I've also had a job at Huck Finn's Catfish," added Ramsey.

Aside from juggling jobs, Ramsey says he, along with thousands of other students, are getting help to pay for college from the Tennessee Lottery scholarship.

"In four years, it saved $12,000 for me. It saved $4,000 at Walter State and $8,000 at UT," he said.

Ramsey says the scholarship meant his future wouldn't be bogged down by large student loan payments.

Win or lose, where does lottery money really go?

A breakdown by county shows almost $60 million was spent at Knoxville colleges and universities in the 2012-2013 academic year. In Blount County more than $2 million in scholarship money was spent, and in Roane more than $4 million in scholarship money went back to Roane County colleges.

Another student, Samantha McElfresh, is studying for her masters degree at UT. She says she's always likes school and was fortunate enough to have the bulk of her undergraduate tuition funded by the lottery scholarship. 

"If I didn't have that scholarship I probably would have picked a different school, something with cheaper tuition," said McElfresh.

While that Mega Millions ticket you bought Tuesday may not have gotten you the jackpot, remember that you're helping students in Tennessee.

"The money they're spending goes to a good cause, so thank you," said McElfresh.

If you would like to see where your county stacks up, you can click here to find out more. http://www.seehowitaddsup.com/money/

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