Increased interest in billion dollar powerball means more funding for scholarships, officials say

ORLANDO, Fla. — Bright futures await Friday for more than just a lucky Powerball jackpot winner.


With more people playing, the huge prize also means more funding for scholarships.

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“This is definitely something that doesn’t happen every day,” Florida Lottery Secretary John Davis said of the $1.6 billion jackpot.

Davis says he was “beyond excited” when he first saw the jackpot, but not just about the money. When you play the lottery, Davis says, more than one person wins.

“The monies we get through individuals playing the lottery go into what we call the Educational Enhancement Trust Fund,” Davis explained. “We’re averaging almost $6.2 million a day, so when you have a jackpot such as we have now, it’s a big deal.”

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Funded by the lottery, Bright Future Scholarships reward students for their academic achievements during high school.

Davis says they’ll be launching a new awareness campaign in January to educate people about the Bright Future Initiative.

“If we’re able to increase awareness, that would mean we would have more Bright Futures applications that will be provided, which leads to more recipients of the Bright Future Scholarship,” Davis explained.

The Florida Lottery has sent more than 917,000 students to college through the program to date.

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According to Davis, Bright Future scholarships don’t just go to students attending colleges and universities. It can also be used for technical and vocational programs.

“Because the pot has rolled to be about $1.6 billion, that means there will be individuals who have never played the lottery who will now play,” Davis said. “These funds will continue to create a pot of resources that allows us to be able to pay for as many scholarships as possible.”

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