‘Today' Show Surprises Ridgefield Resident With $100,000 College Scholarship

A college student from Ridgefield, Connecticut is getting some major help paying for college after a difficult year in which her father went through treatment for esophageal cancer.

The “Today” show revealed this morning that Samantha Watts won “The House” tuition contest, which includes a $100,000 scholarship.

Viewers were asked why they thought someone they know deserves money toward a college education and there were almost 2,000 responses.

This morning, Hoda Kotb revealed that Watts is the winner.

Watts is studying speech pathology and education at Ithaca College and said she will have to go to graduate school to be able to practice.

“I love my school and I love everything that I do there, but my dad actually has just recovered from cancer, from esophageal cancer, and a lot of our money had to go toward that last year, so we’re kind of dependent on scholarships and loans right now, and so it would be life-changing for me,” she said.

“I’m flabbergasted. This is amazing,” Watts said after learning she won the $100,000 prize.

Actor Will Ferrell surprised Watts and presented the ceremonial check on-air this morning.

HamletHub reports that Watts, who goes by Sammie, is a 2015 graduate of Ridgefield High School. 

Ferrell is one of the stars of “The House,” a movie about how far parents go to pay for their daughter’s education.

The "Today" show and NBC Connecticut are both NBC Universal companies.

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