NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Since it’s inception in 2004, the Tennessee Education Lottery has helped students statewide to attain a higher education and make their dream of a career a reality.

In 16 years, the Tennessee Lottery has raised more than $5.5 Billion, which has led to 1.5 million scholarships and grants.

“It’s about 130,000 students each year,” said Rebecca Hargrove, President & CEO of the Tennessee Education Lottery.

Rebecca Hargrove, President and CEO of the Tennessee Lottery (Photo: WKRN)

There are 16 different programs for students, and while the lottery raises the money, the governor and legislature determine how the funds are spent.

“So we fund hope scholarships and Tennessee Promise and Tennessee Reconnect, Wilder-Naifeh Grants which is full tuition to the TCAT schools across the state. There’s a Helping Heroes Scholarship Program, so if you’ve served in the military and you come back you’re still eligible for a Hope Scholarship,” said Hargrove.

There’s even a student loan forgiveness program for math and science teachers, a scholarship program supporting high school graduates with intellectual disabilities to obtain a higher education, to after school learning programs offering academic enrichment.

“Well I think the thing that probably touches my heart the most is when I go to a downtown in Middle Tennessee and someone will stop me and say you’re that lottery lady aren’t you? Yeah, I am. Thank you, because of you my son or my daughter or my favorite niece or my favorite nephew had the opportunity to go to college and I just want to say thank you. Now that makes you feel good about what you do every day,” said Hargrove.

And thanks to the Tennessee Education Lottery, higher education funds may even expand.

Go to our website and you can find out about all of them. You may be eligible for one that you don’t even know about. Education wins when students win.”

The Tennessee Education Lottery Spotlight sponsored by the Tennessee Education Lottery which has raised more than five-and-a half billion dollars for education programs.