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Press release

October 10, 2003

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October, 2003 | Winners Stories

Contestants Win a Total of $457,500 on "The Big Spin®" Show


SACRAMENTO -- The California Lottery's "The Big Spinâ" show airs every Saturday in 12 television markets statewide. A total of $457,500 was won by contestants who appeared on the show airing Saturday, October 11, 2003.

Armando Villarreal
Armando Villarreal

The "Fantasy 5 Dream Machine" contestants won a total of $335,000 on this week's show. The first "Fantasy 5 Dream Machine" contestant was Armando Villarreal, a postal worker from Norwalk who won $150,000! Villarreal, who purchased his ticket at Rosecrans Spirit Shop in Norwalk, said, "I plan to make home improvements and buy a new car with my winnings." The second "Fantasy 5 Dream Machine" contestant was James Masterson from Antioch who won $85,000. Masterson, who bought his ticket at Dave's Liquors in Antioch, said, "I'm going to go on a cruise to Alaska with my prize money."

Paul Baughman
Paul Baughman

Next up at the "Fantasy 5 Dream Machine" was Rosemary Medrano, a telephone operator from Apple Valley who won $60,000. Medrano, who bought her ticket at The Depot #6 in Apple Valley, explained, "I plan to pay off bills and go on a vacation with my prize money." The final "Fantasy 5 Dream Machine" contestant was Paul Baughman, a nurse from Bakersfield who won $40,000. Baughman, who bought his ticket at Mowry 76 in Fremont, said, "I'm going to take my wife to Hawaii with my prize money." 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.

The contestant that won a chance to spin the prize wheel from the California Gold elimination round was Debbie Hessler, an office assistant from Galt who won $100,000. Hessler, who bought her lucky ticket at Don's Dandy Market #2 in Galt, commented, "I'm going to use my prize to pay off bills and buy a sewing machine for my mother-in-law." The second runner-up from the California Gold round was Sylvia De La Cruz, a cashier from San Pedro who won $5,000.

California Gold is another way to get to the wheel on "The Big Spinâ" show. 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 find 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 Spinâ" prize wheel, while the other contestant wins $5,000.

The California Lottery sells its products through a network of more than 18,000 retail locations statewide. During Fiscal Year 2001/2002, the Lottery provided 51.9 percent of its revenues to players as prizes, 34.9 percent to public schools and 13.2 percent for administrative expenses, which included 6.8 percent for retailer commissions. In 2002 the California Lottery contributed $1 billion to public schools. The Lottery's contribution equals approximately 2 percent of the State's total education budget. "The Big Spinâ" television show is the longest running lottery game show in the country, airing continuously since 1985.


Armando Villarreal Norwalk $150,000
Debbie Hessler Galt $100,000
James Masterson Antioch $85,000
Rosemary Medrano Apple Valley $60,000
Paul Baughman Bakersfield $40,000
Other California Gold Contestants   $22,500
TOTAL      $457,500
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See More Press Releases: October, 2003 | Winners Stories |