If smiling is your favorite, then this is a story for you. Will Ferrell surprised the winner of the Today show’s The House tuition contest by presenting her with a $100,000 scholarship. The competition, which received almost 2,000 entries and was sponsored by Ferrell’s upcoming movie with Amy Poehler, sought nominations for students who deserve money toward their education.

On Tuesday, June 20, Today host Hoda Kotb welcomed Ithaca College student Samantha Watts onto the show as one of the competition’s finalists.

Watts is focused on a career path that will serve others, studying speech pathology and education, but her family is dealing with the aftermath of her father’s esophageal cancer, and she needs to go to grad school for her profession. “A lot of our money had to go toward [cancer treatments] last year, so we’re kind of dependent on scholarships and loans right now,” she said.

After Watts explained her bid, Kotb revealed that she had actually won the scholarship, which prompted tears from a very grateful Watts, followed by Ferrell running onto the scene to deliver a ceremonial check. “This is Will!” Kotb said by way of introduction, as if Watts might not recognize the Saturday Night Live cast member who went on to star in hits such as Anchorman, Elf, and Step Brothers.

Watts could barely speak after Ferrell revealed the amount of prize money she would be receiving. “I’m flabbergasted. This is amazing,” she said. (It’s unclear whether her inability to speak was due to meeting the actor or the amazing sum of money, but we suspect a combo of the two.)

The House hits theaters on Friday, June 30.

(photo via Kevin Winter/Getty Images)