By Alexandria Hoff


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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — If these families look like they’ve just struck the jackpot, they have and they did not see it coming.

“I am sorry if I’m being quiet or not saying much because I was literally so surprised,” said Kiah Johnson, a very surprised mom.

The event was disguised as a holiday party for lottery applicants of the Children’s Scholarship Fund of Philadelphia.

“I thought it was going to be a quick little interview, a little holiday party and then we would be out,” said Candace Williams.

Well, this event held at Lincoln Financial Field was not an interview or a holiday party. It was the surprise of their children’s lifetime.

These Philadelphia families learned on the spot that they are among those selected to receive a four-year scholarship fund for their child to attend a tuition-based K-8th grade school of their choosing.

“For many of our families or most of our families, this is an opportunity to send their kids to a school that is quality they feel good about and meets their child’s needs,” said Heather Frattone, the executive director of the Children’s Scholarship Fund Philadelphia.

Out of about 10,000 applications, 2,000 families are chosen at random.

Recipients who weren’t in the room learned of the good news over the phone from Eagles legends, NRG representatives and volunteers.

“It makes you want to cry because you are just so happy for them. It changes everything,” said volunteer Donna Mitchell.

For 5-year-old Jade Clybourn, it’s a gift that will help pave the way for college.

“I know that she is destined to be a great woman one day and so I am really grateful,” said Williams.

Another lottery drawing will be held in March and applications for that are still being accepted.

Alexandria Hoff