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Colerain Vax-a-Million winner, 17, wasn’t planning on college next year

“I feel relieved now. All the pressure is gone.”
Updated: Jun. 16, 2021 at 11:18 PM EDT
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COLERAIN TOWNSHIP, Ohio (WXIX) - The winner of Ohio’s 4th Vax-a-Million scholarship, a Greater Cincinnati resident, hadn’t planned on attending school next year.

Sean Horning, 17, graduated last month from Colerain High School, where he played baseball and hockey. But as for his next step in life, as of Wednesday afternoon, he was intent on a “gap” year.

“He was planning to work, save some money, and then next year go to college,” said Lina Horning, Sean’s mother.

Then came Wednesday’s big announcement.

“The biggest thing for me,” Sean said Wednesday night, “is I never want to be in debt, and that’s just gone away.”

Also at issue: Sean’s baseball prospects. Lina says he blew out his knee last year just as recruiting season was heating up, so he couldn’t go after that full scholarship he wanted.

Sean got some offers, but the plan was for him to play more ball while he worked on his year off and go into the next recruiting cycle healthy.

Now Sean will be the recipient of a full-ride scholarship, including four years of tuition, books and room and board at an Ohio public university or college.

“It’s crazy,” he said. “There’s a bunch of people in this lottery, and I won. It’s just like a blessing to me. I never thought this would happen.”

He continued: “I feel relieved now. All the pressure is gone.”

But that doesn’t mean his plans have changed. Lina and Sean both say they’re moving full steam ahead with the gap year.

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