Why not just do a ‘Hunger Games’ style competition for the prize?

Jacqueline Thomsen reports at Inside Higher Ed.

A ‘Loan Lottery’

In New Jersey, some may be able to pay off thousands of dollars in student loans with one $3 payment — if they’re lucky.

A New Jersey state representative proposed legislation Monday morning that would establish a lottery, but only for those with college debt. The winner wouldn’t receive the funds directly; they would go directly to the institution where the money is owed.

John Burzichelli, a Democrat assemblyman who represents New Jersey’s third legislative district, said he decided to present the bill after being approached by representatives of a business who wanted to establish the lottery in the state and in other parts of the country.

He said with the large amount of student debt graduates face, the lottery could be an important and easy solution for those who draw a winning ticket. In 2013, 70 percent of graduating seniors who graduated from institutions in the state had some sort of debt, and their average debt was roughly $28,000, according to a report from the Institute for College Access and Success.

Burzichelli added that he wasn’t concerned about an individual relying too heavily on the lottery as a solution to his or her debt payments because other options, like the Powerball lottery, already exist in the state.