Elk Grove student wins $100K for college savings

ELK GROVE, Calif. - An Elk Grove boy with big goals just won $100,000 to make his college dreams a reality. The 3rd grader from Joseph Sims Elementary School and his parents won a nationwide contest.

Duncan Nakamoto, 9, received a giant check Friday for a winning photograph he and his parents submitted to the "Big Dreams Start Small" College Fund Contest. The grand prize, a $100,000, will be deposited into little Duncan's college savings plan.

"It's awesome!!" said Duncan.

Duncan's winning entry is a photograph of him daydreaming.

"Right now, I'm thinking of what job I want to pick," Duncan said.

The caption reads: "Duncan dreams of the possibilities. Astronaut? Doctor? Paleontologist? With big dreams and hard work we believe he can make it a reality."

Parents and grandparents nationwide were invited to submit a photo and caption showing their child or grandchild dreaming big. More than 3,000 entries were submitted since September. The contest was sponsored by TIAA-CREFF as part of the AARP College Savings Solutions Program.

"I couldn't believe it," Duncan's mother Phylicia Nakamoto said.

Duncan's stunned parents are equally ecstatic at the possibilities the prize presents -- $100,000 for a 529-college savings plan means tax-free money for higher education.

"It's a dream to be able to afford his college education wherever that might be. The great thing about this is we're investing this in 529 account, and it's going to continue to grow," Duncan's father Calvin Nakamoto said. "It starts at $100,000 and it will continue to grow. He has a few years before he graduates."

So, what does Duncan want to be when he grows up?

"If anything, a doctor or a basketball player," Duncan said.


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