SMART529 sweepstakes

The golden West Virginia State Capital Dome towering above the trees on an clear, early Fall evening, just before sunset in Charleston, WV.

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — It’s been 20 years since the West Virginia Treasurer’s Office launched the SMART529 College Savings Plan.

To mark the milestone, state Treasurer Riley Moore’s Office has launched a special 20th anniversary sweepstakes that will award three children under the age of 14 each with a $20,000 scholarship.

Moore said the money will go a long way.

“That $20,000 today invested over many years with compounding interest and capital gains, you could really earn a lot of money,” he said.

The first prize drawing will be held Saturday, Oct. 1. Two additional drawings will take place in November and December. The deadline to register for all three drawings is Saturday.

To be eligible, entries must be completed by a parent or legal guardian. The child and the parent/legal guardian must live in West Virginia. Only one entry per child is permitted.

Multiple children in a household can be entered to win, the Treasurer said.

Moore said SMART529 has had a significant impact on families struggling to pay for their child’s college education.

“We’ve had tens of thousands of people sign up. It has made college that much more accessible to people all over the state of West Virginia,” he said.

The program has grown to nearly $3 billion in assets under management, with more than 37,600 accounts held by West Virginia residents, with tens of thousands more accounts held by individuals nationwide, Moore said.

Rules, information and registration forms for the sweepstakes are available at the state Treasurer’s website.