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Press release

March 21, 2003

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March, 2003 | Winners Stories

Contestants Win $332,500 on The Big Spin® Show


SACRAMENTO -- California Lottery's "The Big Spin®" show airs Saturday, March 22, 2003, in twelve television markets statewide. Contestants on this week's show win a total of $332,500.

Joe Venegas
Joe Venegas

Fantasy 5 Dream Machine contestants win a total of $290,000 on this week's show. The first contestant appearing on this week's show is Joe Venegas, a businessman from Chino Hills. Venegas wins $95,000 and he explained his plans for the money, "I will buy a new house." Venegas bought his lucky ticket at 7-Eleven in Whittier. The second contestant is Pho Banh, a cashier from Long Beach, who wins $90,000. He plans to travel to Vietnam with his winnings. Banh bought his ticket at Moe Shell in Long Beach.

Gary Ramsden
Gary Ramsden

Next up at the Dream Machine is Gary Ramsden, a fish hatchery manager from Lewiston. Ramsden wins $75,000 and said, "I'll use this money towards my retirement." Ramsden purchased his ticket at Lewiston 76 Mini Mart in Lewiston. The final Dream Machine contestant on this week's show is Douglas Hoff, an electronic technician from Vacaville. Hoff wins $30,000 and plans to invest his winnings. Hoff purchased his ticket at Quick Stop Market in Vacaville.

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.

This week's finalist at the California Gold game is Janette Nieblas, a dental assistant from Cudahy, who wins $20,000. "I plan to use this money for dental school," said Nieblas. Nieblas purchased her ticket at Eddie's Mini Market in Bell Gardens. The second runner-up from this California Gold round is Robert Heard, a retiree from Fullerton, who wins $5,000.

California Gold is another way to get to the wheel on "The Big Spin" show. 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.

The California Lottery® sells its products through a network of more than 18,000 retail outlets statewide. The Lottery provides 52 percent of its revenues to players as prizes, 34.7 percent to public schools and 13.3 percent for administrative expenses, which includes 6.8 percent for retailer commissions. Since 1985, the Lottery has raised more than $14 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.


Joe Venegas Chino Hills $95,000
Pho Banh Long Beach $90,000
Gary Ramsden Lewiston $75,000
Douglas Hoff Vacaville $30,000
Janette Nieblas Cudahy $20,000
Other California Gold Contestants   $22,500
TOTAL      $332,500
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