Kentucky college student says she's already won jackpot -- witho - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Kentucky college student says she's already won jackpot -- without Powerball ticket

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The largest lottery in world history is on the line tonight -- and today we not only saw the rush to get tickets for free, but also the college student who says she's already won. 

What does it look like when you give away a free chance to bank $1.5 billion? A very long line. And this is what it sounds like to dream of winning it:

"It's so much money you can't even be selfish," said Ashley Sheffield, a lottery player. "I can take care of everybody in my family and still have my fun." 

"They say you're not going to win, but you never know when your time is for luck," said Sherrell Anderson.

Powerball-mania swept through the Springhurst Kroger Wednesday as Kentucky Lottery officials handed out 1,500 free tickets throughout the state. Yet far from the hubbub, before the winning number has even been drawn, Danielle Deal says she's already hit the jackpot. 

"I don't think people really understand that, just buying a single lottery ticket, they're impacting someone's life -- like someone did for me," Deal said.

"Ninety-five cents of every dollar of college student aid awarded by Kentucky comes straight form the sale of Kentucky Lottery tickets," said Chip Polston, a Kentucky Lottery spokesperson.

Just about every other student you see at U of L has lottery money in their financial aide package. In fact, on the campus, the total is about $10 million this year alone.

"The biggest money students receive form the lottery is the CAP grant and the KEES money," said Sandy Neel, executive director of financial aid at the University of Louisville. 

Students earn KEES scholarships for good grades in high school. CAP grants go to low-income homes. 

"That might be books, food sometimes," said Deal. "It helps just to ease some of the burden that goes with not having extra money from home."

Deal earned $2,500 from KEES -- part of her full-ride scholarship. Without it, she says she would not be at school.  

"It's just me and my mom and we have had some struggles and it's been kind of a rough road to get me here to U of L," Deal said. 

The Kentucky Lottery boasts $2.4 billion in financial aid for college students since 1999.

Deal's jackpot may not be the Powerball, but she says the cost for her education is priceless. 

The Powerball jackpot drawing is tonight at 10:59 -- and you can watch it live on WDRB. Be sure to tune in to see if you're the big winner!

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