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Press release

January 13, 2001

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January, 2001 | Supporting Education | Northern California

Hollister Resident Wins $40,000 Actress Merrilee McCommas Presents "Hero in Education" Award


SACRAMENTO -- California Lottery's "Big Spin® 2000" show airs Saturday, January 13, 2001, in twelve television markets statewide. Contestants on this week's show won a combined total of $107,000.

Actress Merrilee McCommas who portrays Patricia in the hit CBS drama "Family Law", presented Lillian Roney with California Lottery's "Hero in Education" award.

At 78 years of age, Roney, a retired Teacher's Aid for the King City School District, continued her work in the local schools as a dedicated volunteer for 17 years. Roney dedicates up to four hours a day helping students learn reading, writing, art, science, and history. Roney also volunteers in the "Friends of the Library" program. This program is aimed at using differing fundraising techniques to raise money for libraries. In the years she has been involved, the group has raised money for new books and materials.

SPIN-SPIN-SPIN contestant Ramona Diaz of Hollister said, "I want to put a down payment on a house and save some money for my children's education." Diaz won $40,000. Diaz bought a "Big Spin 2000" Scratchers ticket and it revealed three "SPIN" symbols on one ticket and this entitled her to a direct trip to the prize wheel.

This week's High Roller game hosted two contestants; Giau Luong of Upland and Blanca Ochoa of Brea. Luong won $15,000 and said, "I'm going to put my prize money in the bank for my college education." Ochoa won $5,000. The High Roller Scratchers is the newest way to get to the Big Spin 2000 TV show. Players who appeared on this week's High Roller segment bought a High Roller Scratchers ticket and found three stacks of bills on their $1 ticket. That entitled them to come on the show and try our newest segment! Here's how the High Roller Coaster segment is played: The High Roller Coaster game has six valleys, and the value of those valleys change with each of three rounds. Depending on how the contestants decide to play, they can walk away with up to $150,000.

California Gold contestant Rosemary Sanchez of Sacramento won $25,000 and said, "I'm going to help my children out with my prize money." Other California Gold contestants won a combined total of $22,500. California Gold is one way to get to the wheel on "Big Spin 2000". The game starts with 10 contestants whose Big Spin Scratchers® tickets 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 2000 prize wheel, while the other contestant wins $5,000.

The California Lottery sells its products through a network of more than 18,000 outlets statewide. The Lottery provides 52.5 percent of its revenues to players as prizes, 34 percent to public schools and 14 percent for administrative expenses, which includes 6.8 percent for retailer commissions. Since 1985, the Lottery has raised more than $12 billion for public schools. The California Lottery's contribution equals approximately 2 percent of the state's total education budget. "Big Spin® 2000" is the longest running Lottery game show in the country, airing continuously since 1985.

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