Powerball a win for South Carolina Education - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Powerball a win for South Carolina Education

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - More than $1 billion could be yours if you play the Powerball, but even if you don’t hit jackpot, in a game like this, everyone’s a winner.

Just by purchasing one, $2 Powerball ticket, you're putting .86 cents towards South Carolina Education. If you throw in an extra dollar, to power up, you're increasing your winnings, and the money local students and schools get.

State lottery representatives say this jackpot run could mean between $4 and $8 million for education.

Money allocation is decided by the General Assembly.

In the past, funds have been handed to schools for new education programs, technology, and school buses. Also, to community education programs like county libraries, and gambling addiction services.

Last year, nearly 132,000 scholarships were handed out to students in the Palmetto state.

One HGTC student says her scholarship is life changing.

“Ever since then, it's just made my life and my education, me adjusting to my goals and getting to where I want to be such an easier, less stressful passage,” Scholarship Recipient Alice Kitchen said. “I really just want to appreciate everybody who goes out and does them, and good luck to all of you.”

At HGTC alone, last year, nearly 4,500 students received $3.8 million in tuition assistance.

"The SC Education lottery is not just important, it's essential,” HGTC VP of Finance, Harold Hawley said.

While Hawley recommends you play responsibly, he said when you do elect to buy that ticket, it’s really an investment in South Carolina’s future.

He also said the school has received money in the past for items such as new technology equipment.

“You are enabling students to go to college that otherwise could not have, you're enabling colleges to provide equipment and training that they may not have, and you're ultimately enabling employers to have a quality workforce that will rival any in the nation,” he said.

On top of scholarships, all public schools and county libraries receive appropriations from lottery funds.

Since the start of the Lottery in January 2002, the Legislature has appropriated more than $3.4 billion through Fiscal year 2013-14, according to the Executive Budget Office.

In that time frame, Horry County got about $22,239,617 for K-12, awarded 56,037 scholarships in the amount of about $90,212,529, and libraries received about $605,382.

Florence County got about $20,895,420 for K-12, as well as 45,143 scholarships for the amount of about $66,446,997, and libraries received about $440,330.

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