On Wednesday, Oct. 3, numbers were drawn for two of three huge lottery jackpots up for grabs in Arkansas this week.
The Powerball, Mega Millions and Natural State Jackpot have climbed this week. Regardless of who has the lucky numbers, officials with the Arkansas Scholarship Lottery said the state's students win as the jackpots climb.
Wednesday's $320,000 Natural State Jackpot tied for sixth largest in its history. According to Bishop Woosley, that along with a $405-million Mega Millions and $229-million Powerball equates to more scholarship money for Arkansas students.
"When [jackpots] get that high, sales increase exponentially and that means more money for the kids," said Bishop Woosley, Director of the Arkansas Lottery.
Eligible students can earn up to $14,000 in Arkansas Academic Challenge Scholarships during their time at 4-year university.
Brittany Bartlett, a student at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, is among thousands across the state receiving help from a lottery scholarships.
"I don't have to stress so much about making the payments on time because there are no payments to make at this point because the Academic Challenge covered the rest of my balance in full," Bartlett said.
Carlia Smith, director of financial aid and scholarships at UA Little Rock, said the university’s students are awarded about $5 million in Academic Challenge Scholarships annually.
"The greatest thing for us is when they cross the stage and collect their degree," Smith said. "This is very much a part of it because many of our students face financial challenges," she said.
In nine years, the Arkansas Scholarship Lottery has raised more than $780 million for more than 300,000 scholarships.
"Anything helps so if you can apply for it and you think you're going to meet the qualifications for it, apply for it," Bartlett said.