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Press release

May 26, 2001

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May, 2001 | Winners Stories | Southern California

Los Angeles Resident Wins More Than $2 Million


SACRAMENTO -- California Lottery's "The Big Spin®" show airs Saturday, May 26, 2001, in 12 television markets statewide. Contestants on this week's show won a combined total of $2,277,500.

Contestant, Noe Carranza of Los Angeles, progressed to the final round of play on the The Big Spin show's newest game, "Twice As Grand." Carranza won $2,000 a week for 20 years; winning a total grand prize of over $2 million.

Carranza stopped at a store and bought a Harley-Davidson Scratchers ticket and saw he had won $15. He took the money he won and went to another store he frequents, cashed in the ticket, and bought one Twice As Grand ticket. He then went to his car to scratch it off. He was so surprised he had won, when he went back into the store to confirm his win, he locked his keys in the car and it took him 45 minutes to get them out. "It was worth it," he said.

All of Carranza's friends and family, except his wife, joined him at the show as he played to win a grand prize total of $2,080,000. "My wife couldn't leave work to join us and that's why the first thing I'm going to do with my prize money is use it so my wife can retire from work," he said. Carranza and his wife both currently work at a company that does catering, event planning and lighting and staging for studios. Carranza said he felt very comfortable at KCET studios (where The Big Spin show is filmed) as he had worked there many times. "This time I left a big winner," he said.

All three of Carranza's children are avid swimmers. His son competes in water polo, his oldest daughter is on the high school swim team, and his youngest daughter won the 2000 National Gold Medal for the fastest United States swimmer. His youngest daughter now qualifies for the Junior Olympics. "I've never been able to travel with my children to support their efforts and now I can," said Carranza. Carranza also plans to buy a new home with his prize money.

The two other Twice As Grand finalists, Richard Grosely of Roseville and Jesus Cervantes of Watsonville, each won $25,000.

Retired Los Angeles resident Labon Canada won $65,000 playing the Fantasy 5 Dream Machine and said, "I want to pay off some bills and go on vacation." 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.

Demetrio Gomez, a veterinarian assistant from Inglewood plans to pay off bills with the $35,000 he won playing Camelot's Riches. Camelot's Riches is one of the California Lottery's newest ways to get to The Big Spin. The game is played by pulling on King Arthur's sword, "Excalibur," which starts a set of two different colored balls racing down the ramps to the finish line. The contestant's prize is decided by which color ball crosses the finish line first. Three rounds are played and the final prize is totaled after the three rounds have ended.

A homemaker from Stockton, Rosie Lucero was this week's top California Gold contestant. Lucero won $25,000 spinning the prize wheel and said, "I'm going to pay off bills and share the money with my family." Other California Gold contestants won a combined total of $22,500.

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 California 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.

Noe Carranza Los Angeles $ 2,080,000
Labon Canada Los Angeles $ 65,000
Demetrio Gomez Inglewood $ 35,000
Richard Grosely Roseville $ 25,000
Jesus Cervantes Watsonville $ 25,000
Rosie Lucero Stockton $ 25,000
Other California Gold Winners   $ 22,500
  TOTAL $2,277,500
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See More Press Releases: May, 2001 | Winners Stories | Southern California