Hope Scholarship Students

Lottery players in the Peach State spent an extra $100 million on tickets last year, helping create record jackpots, but the players aren't the only ones who've won big.

Colleges and their students are winning big because the extra funds help protect the popular Hope Scholarship.

Back in the spring, the Georgia general assembly was considering major cuts to the Hope Scholarship because of the possible dip in sales.

New records show there was no dip last year. In fact, lottery receipts grew by $100 million.

Doug Tanner, VSU Financial Aid Director, said, "Increases in the Lottery revenue is great news for students, it means when the triggers are looked at in the next few years, which could have reduced the scholarship's book fund or eliminated it completely, they may not go into effect, so students can continue to keep those funds."

Charity Young, a VSU student, said, "I think it helps keep a lot of kids in order, because you have to keep at least a "B" average to keep it, so I guess it inspires people to make good grades, because if you don't get "Bs" you lose it, so it helps you keep your grades straight."

Financial aid experts say if Hope remains healthy, so will Georgia colleges and universities.

Georgia Lottery officials say huge jackpots in the Mega Millions game are one of the biggest reasons for the continued growth in sales.