ITHACA, N.Y. — An Ithaca College student won a $100,000 scholarship on the Today Show Tuesday morning and the giant check was presented to her by actor Will Ferrell, who was promoting his new movie on the show.

Samantha Watts, class of 2019, thought she was a finalist for the scholarship and was surprised by co-host Hoda Kotb when she found out that she won.

“I’m flabbergasted. This is amazing,” she said on the show.

She said she looks forward to going to graduate school, but her family has fallen on hard times.

“I love my school and I love everything that I do there,” she said. “But my dad actually is 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 (to win).”

Seconds later, she found out she was the recipient of the scholarship and actor Will Ferrell ran toward her with the rolled up giant check wrapped in a red bow.

Ferrell is staring in a new movie called “The House” where he and actress Amy Poehler play parents who open an illegal casino to pay for their daughter’s college.

Watts is pursing speech pathology and education studies in the School of Health Sciences and Human Performance.

Featured photo a screenshot from the Ithaca College Facebook page.

Jolene Almendarez

Jolene Almendarez is Managing Editor at The Ithaca Voice. She can be reached at jalmendarez@ithacavoice.com; you can learn more about her at the links in the top right of this box.