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How Some Families Are Winning the Lottery Without Ever Playing

I am the first to admit that I find the whole concept of playing any sort of lottery pretty confusing. When I approach the counter at my local minimart and see all of the various scratch off cards and ticket machines,  I am completely baffled. And I am always afraid that the harried checkout lady – not to mention the customers in line behind me – would be totally irritated if I asked her to stop and explain how it all works to me. So I’ve never played, meaning I’ve never been a winner.

However, here in Tennessee, where I live, my kids will be lottery winners whether or not I ever figure out how to buy a ticket. That’s because our state utilizes state lottery profits to fund the HOPE Scholarship Program, which  pays pretty much the entire cost of tuition (just tuition – not books or housing) for eligible Tennessee students who want to attend any of our state colleges or universities.

The HOPE Scholarship Program has had its hiccups along the way, and there continue to be critics of the idea of having a state lottery at all, but in the past few years, I’ve loved seeing and reading media coverage of all the Tennessee kids who have been able to go to college on the HOPE Scholarship; in many cases, these lottery scholarship recipients are the first members of their family to take their education past high school.  That’s pretty cool.

What about you? Do you play the lottery? Why and how often? Have you ever won anything? And what do you think about lottery money helping to pay for kids to go to college?  (And also, can anyone explain to me how to actually play the lottery? Because I really don’t want to bother the cranky looking minimart checkout lady with my pesky questions.)

Follow Katie on Twitter or Facebook, or visit her personal blog.

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