TALLAHASSEE - The Florida Lottery and University of West Florida (UWF) kicked-off the fall semester and celebrated the Lottery's 25th anniversary by honoring Bright Futures scholarship recipients at a celebration attended by Lottery Secretary Cynthia O'Connell and UWF President Judith A. Bense yesterday afternoon. Students enjoyed ice cream donated by Florida Lottery corporate retailer, Winn-Dixie.
Lottery Secretary O'Connell and UWF President Judith A. Bense congratulated the students on their commitment to academic excellence in a relaxed setting with university faculty and staff. The two conversed with the students about the benefits all Floridians enjoy from the relationship the state's colleges and universities share with the Florida Lottery.
"Since the Florida Bright Futures Scholarship Program began in 1997, more than 34,000 Bright Futures scholarships have been awarded to students attending UWF. The Florida Lottery has contributed more than $3.6 billion overall to send more than 550,000 students to a Florida college or university since the program began," said Secretary O'Connell. "We are thrilled to give bright and talented young minds in Florida the opportunity to experience life-changing educational experiences that are made possible by Lottery contributions to the Educational Enhancement Trust Fund (EETF)."
Recognized as one of the most efficient lotteries in the nation, the Florida Lottery has remained a strong partner in helping generate additional funds for public education for the past 24 years. Lottery contributions have made an impact with more than $1 billion being transferred annually to the EETF for the past ten consecutive years. Florida Lottery contributions represent approximately six percent of the state's total education budget.