3rd Grade Teacher Wins $150,000, Then Donates It All to Her School

PHOTO: Nikki Bollerman, teacher at UP Academy Dorchester, congratulated by @marty_walsh on her $150k donation to her school. @northwindstrategies/Twitter
Nikki Bollerman, teacher at UP Academy Dorchester, congratulated by @marty_walsh on her $150k donation to her school.

A third-grade teacher in Boston who won $150,000 in an online contest donated her entire winnings to her school.

Nicole "Nikki" Bollerman, 26, was honored this week by Boston Mayor Marty Walsh after she donated her grand prize of $150,000 from a Capital One #WishForOthers contest that also funded three books per student.

"I really made the wish for my students and I was blessed, lucky and thankful that Capital One gave me the opportunity," Bollerman told ABC News today. "Since I made the wish for my students I thought I would do something to make their lives better rather than spend it on myself."

Bollerman teaches general third-grade education at UP Academy Dorchester, a public charter school that's a year old.

“My #wishforothers is that my voracious, adorable, hardworking, loving scholars all leave for their December break with a book in their hand,” wrote Bollerman in her winning entry, according to the school's website.

Capital One's video of the book unveiling has been viewed about 900,000 times.

Bollerman said she has been working with school administration to make sure the gift will "improve the lives of the students," including better computer access and coding lessons for the children, though the school has not made any commitments yet.

Capital One provided three books of Bollerman's choice to her students:

1. "Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul," the latest book in the popular children's series. "Those kids just eat up those Wimpy Kid books," Bollerman said.

2. "My Father's Dragon," a 1948 novel by Ruth Stiles Gannett, "one of my favorite chapter books growing up," Bollerman said.

3. "Where the Wild Things Are," by Maurice Sendak, who grew up in Bollerman's town. "I wanted the kids to have a picture book to share with their younger brothers and sisters," she said.

Because Bollerman wanted all the third-graders to have books to read over December break, she and her mother bought each child not in her class a book as well.