Three South Dakota students received big checks on Wednesday.
South Dakota Retired Teachers and AARP team up each year to encourage kids to write.
This year, 1,500 students wrote essays. The winner, 5th grader Sam Olson of Madison, wrote about his grandpa Dick who taught him the value of savings.
"My grandpa is not just my grandpa. He's a business owner, a farmer, an outdoorsman, a sports fan and a friend. He learned how to be a good grandpa because he learned from his grandpa who was his best friend," Olson said.
The students with the top three essays won cash prizes. Olson received $250.