Ridgefielder Sammie Watts wins $100,000 scholarship, appears on Today Show

Ridgefielder Sammie Watts was given the gift of a lifetime on The Today Show Tuesday morning when it was announced she had been selected as the recipient of a $100,000 scholarship.

The scholarship was part of “The House” Tuition Contest, created by the Today Show and its sponsor, Warner Bros. — named for the upcoming movie, The House.

The film’s main star, Will Ferrell, presented Watts the $100,000 check as her family and surrounding New Yorkers cheered around them.

Watts, a student at Ithaca College, has dreams of becoming a speech pathologist focused in education, which means she needs to finish her undergraduate degree and attend graduate school.

However, her father is recovering from esophageal cancer.

Most of the family’s money has gone toward treatment in the past few years, leaving her dreams in the hands of scholarships and student loans.

“This is incredibly surreal to me,” Watts told The Press Tuesday. “I can’t thank everyone enough for supporting me and cheering me on. I can’t believe this all happened so fast!”

The scholarship competition was simple: write in about why someone you love deserves money for a college education.

Two thousand submissions were sent in.