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Press release

December 5, 2003

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December, 2003 | Winners Stories

Win a Total of $272,500 on "The Big Spin®" Show


SACRAMENTO - The California Lottery's "The Big Spin®" Show airs every Saturday in 12 television markets statewide. A total of $272,500 was won by contestants who appeared on the show airing Saturday, December 6, 2003.

Betty Lavarda
Betty Lavarda

The "Fantasy 5 Dream Machine" contestants won a total of $200,000 on this week's show. The first "Fantasy 5 Dream Machine" contestant was Betty Lavarda, a hair stylist from Covina who won $75,000. Lavarda, who purchased her ticket at Country Club Market in West Covina, said, "I plan to share my winnings with my family." The second "Fantasy 5 Dream Machine" contestant was John Metcalf from Los Angeles who won $70,000. Metcalf, who bought his ticket at Richard's Liquor in Lynnwood, expressed, "I'm going to take a vacation to Hawaii with my prize money." The third "Fantasy 5 Dream Machine" contestant was Donovan Houston, a security guard from Oakland who won $55,000. Houston, who bought his ticket at Charlie's Drug Store in San Francisco, said, "I'm going to buy my dream car with my winnings."

Donovan Houston
Donovan Houston

Contestants on the "Fantasy 5 Dream Machine" game have up to five chances to launch a ball into one of the five bins in the pinball-type game. Each bin represents a cash amount. Prizes are cumulative, but only one ball may land in each bin to claim the prize amount. Contestants appearing on this segment qualify by mailing an entry form to the Lottery after purchasing $5 of Fantasy 5 games on one playslip.

"Aces High" is the newest game on "The Big Spin®" Show, which replaced "California Gold." Similar to "California Gold," ten contestants begin the game and two of those contestants advance to the second round. "Aces High" contestants will either win a dollar amount ranging from $1,750 to $4,000 or get one of two "Ace" cards. The two contestants that end up with an "Ace" card advance to the second round. The objective of the second round is to get a better hand than the opponent, the best hand being four of a kind. The contestant with the lower hand wins $5,000 and the contestant with the higher hand goes on to spin the wheel, for a chance to win $3 million!

The contestant that won a chance to spin the prize wheel from the "Aces High" elimination round was Jose Lima Cisneros, a handyman from Inglewood who won $50,000. Lima Cisneros, who bought his lucky ticket at Buy-Low in Inglewood, commented, "I'm going to pay off my house with my prize money." The second runner-up from the "Aces High" round was Victor Castillo, a chemical plant employee from Baldwin Park who won $5,000.

Exceeding its mandate to provide 34% of Lottery revenues to public education, in Fiscal Year 2002/2003, the California Lottery contributed $1 billion to public schools, for a third consecutive year.


Betty Lavarda Covina $ 75,000
John Metcalf Los Angeles $ 70,000
Donovan Houston Oakland $ 55,000
Jose Lima Cisneros Inglewood $ 50,000
Other Aces High Contestants   $ 22,500
TOTAL      $ 272,500
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See More Press Releases: December, 2003 | Winners Stories |