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Over 36,000 scholarships are being given to Arkansans because of the lottery

Over 36,000 scholarships are being given to Arkansans because of the Lottery

In under a decade, roughly $700 million has gone to rewarding Arkansas students, and this year has been a major milestone.

Normally when you go to buy a lottery ticket, you're going in the hopes of being that lucky winner, not realizing when you do that, thousands are winning in a different way.

"It's for the kids,” said Alisha Lewis, Associate Director of Communications at the Arkansas Department of Higher Education. “Every time you go and buy a lottery ticket, then it's something that you're doing to support the education in our state."

For the last eight years, much of the money spent to purchase tickets for the Mega Millions or Powerball goes to funding scholarships for students seeking higher education.

"We have had a larger number of applicants for the scholarship and we were subsequently able to reward more applicants," Lewis said.

This year, more than 36,000 scholarships are being given out - the most since its inception.

"The students that graduate from college, whether that's a technical certificate, a bachelor's degree, an associate degree, a master's degree, even a Ph.D., here is proof that they have a better quality of life," said Lewis.

In total, over $97 million are going toward these scholarships.

But Lewis says that's only half of the equation. The other half is getting people to sign up to receive the funds, and this year, they've seen more interest than ever before.

"That's so exciting and it's rewarding, because that's the money that's actually going back to support our students across our state and that's the future of our state," Lewis said.

Scholarships are only given to Arkansas students who pursue higher education within the state.

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