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Trouble At Scholarships Web Site

February 4, 2000

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (AP) _ Hundreds of thousands of people hoping to win scholarships continued to jam a new Web site promising millions in free money for school, the company said Friday.

FreeScholarships.com debuted Thursday, but the system was overloaded well into Friday by Web surfers eager to try their luck.

The site is giving away $10,000 to one winner, seven days a week, to be used for college, graduate, private or parochial schools. With funding from marketers and advertisers, FreeScholarships.com will also give away another $25,000 to one winner a month and an additional $50,000 to one winner every quarter.

Participants must register in order to win the computer-generated lottery.

Chuck Digate, the Cambridge company’s founder, said the site was more than doubling its Web site’s capacity and hoped to have the problem addressed sometime this weekend.

By noon on Friday, 10,000 people had registered. Hundreds of thousands were believed to have tried, without success, Digate said.

The company gave away its first $10,000 prize Friday morning to a Michigan father of two children, one of whom will be attending a state school in Michigan next year.

The winner’s name was not immediately released because his identity still needs to be verified, Digate said.

College grads with loans to pay off are also eligible for the drawings. Winners must only be U.S. citizens over age 13.

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