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Press release

August 25, 2001

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August, 2001 | Winners Stories



SACRAMENTO -- California Lottery's "The Big Spin®" show airs Saturday, August 25, 2001, in twelve television markets statewide. Contestants on this week's show won a total of $292,500.

Los Banos resident Adrian Conlin was awarded the California Lottery's "Hero In Education" award. Thirteen years into retirement, Adrian Conlin is still going strong. The 83 year old retired teacher volunteers five days a week at Los Banos Elementary School. Conlin taught with the Los Banos School District from 1962 until retirement in 1987. He goes from class to class offering help where it is needed. He gives one on one attention to students with special needs. With experience under his belt, Conlin is able to offer advice to newer teachers on how to motivate students. He is however, sure to give advice only when it is asked of him. "I don't like to go into a room and tell a teacher what to do but I will offer advice and help when I'm asked." Conlin's secret to retirement is, "If you retire and you're smart, keep working!" When asked how he inspires his students, he replied, "I usually use a gimmick! I give sports cards, bracelets, necklaces for the girls or food!" This is one of Conlin's favorite ways to inspire children, through incentives. These incentives are "won" by those who set a goal and reach it.

Actor Henry Darrow is best known as the original Zorro. Darrow currently stars in a one-man show based on the Spanish writer Miguel de Cervantes. Darrow also stars in Showtime's Resurrection Boulevard.

Elida Luevanos, a packing company employee from Fowler, was the finalist from California Gold and went on the spin the wheel. Once at the wheel Luevanos won $30,000 and planned to help her family and buy a house with her prize. California Gold is another way to get to the wheel on "The Big Spin". The game starts with 10 contestants whose Big Spin Scratchers® tickets each revealed three "TV SHOW" symbols on one ticket. When instructed, each player pushes down a "detonator" to reveal a prize ranging from $1,750 to $4,000. Two of those contestants will reveal gold nuggets and advance to the second round of play. Once there, they compete to see who can get the closest to 10 units of "gold nuggets" in their mining car without going over. The winner of this round goes to "The Big Spin" prize wheel, while the other contestant wins $5,000.

Virgilia Cave, a housekeeper from San Francisco was the first contestant at the Fantasy 5 Dream Machine. Cave said her dream is, "To become a Nursing Assistant and this money will help me do that!" Cave won $65,000. Next up at the Fantasy 5 Dream Machine was Michael Cunningham, a retired Navy man from San Diego. Cunningham said, "I want to take my wife on a vacation to the Philippines." Cunningham won $75,000. At the Fantasy 5 Dream Machine, players have up to five chances to launch one ball at a time into one of the five bins in the pinball-type game, each bin representing a cash amount. Prizes are cumulative, but only one ball may land in each bin to claim the prize amount. Players appearing on this segment qualify by mailing an entry form to the Lottery when $5 of Fantasy 5 games are purchased on one playslip.

Mary Houston, a postal clerk from Los Angeles was this week's contestant at the Big Spin prize wheel. Houston won $100,000 and plans to use that money to buy a house and help her family members out. What kind of house? "As long as it is big enough to have a baby grand piano and a computer, anything is fine," replied Houston. Houston bought a "Big Spin" Scratchers® ticket which revealed three "SPIN" symbols on one ticket, that ticket entitled her to a direct trip to the prize wheel.

The California Lottery sells its products through a network of more than 18,000 outlets statewide. The Lottery provides 52.7 percent of its revenues to players as prizes, 34.1 percent to public schools and 13.2 percent for administrative expenses, which includes 6.9 percent for retailer commissions. Since 1985, the Lottery has raised more than $12 billion for public schools. The Lottery's contribution equals approximately 2 percent of the state's total education budget. "The Big Spin®" is the longest running Lottery game show in the country, airing continuously since 1985.

Mary Houston Los Angeles 100,000
Michael Cunningham San Diego 75,000
Virgilia Cave San Francisco 65,000
Elida Luevanos Fowler 30,000
Other California Gold Contestants   $22,500
  TOTAL $292,500
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