Will Ferrell Surprises College Student With $100,000 Tuition Check

Will Ferrell made one college student’s day — and most likely her whole year. The 49-year-old actor surprised college student Samantha Watts, along with some help from Today host Hoda Kotb, to present a $100,000 check for her college tuition during his Today show appearance on Tuesday, June 20.

The Ithaca College student thought she was just a finalist in a scholarship contest to help a worthy student pay for school, but Kotb told her she was actually the winner.

Watts, who is studying speech pathology and will have to attend graduate school, was struggling financially after her father was stricken with cancer. “My dad actually … is just recovered from esophogeal cancer and a lot of our money had to go towards that last year,” she explained. “It would be life changing for me.”

Will Ferrell Visits "The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon" on June 19, 2017 in New York City.
Will Ferrell Visits "The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon" on June 19, 2017 in New York City. Theo Wargo/Getty Images for NBC

After getting the good news, Watts began crying. But the surprises didn’t end there, as Ferrell was the one who presented her with the check for $100,000 as her parents watched.

“I’m flabbergasted,” she said through tears. “This is amazing!”

Ferrell is starring in The House, a movie about two parents who accidentally burn through their daughter’s college fund, and the lengths they go to to make back the money. The movie, which also stars Amy Poehler, hits theaters on June 29.

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