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Press release

May 16, 2003

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May, 2003 | Winners Stories

Contestants Win $225,000 on "The Big Spin®" Show


SACRAMENTO -- California Lottery's "The Big Spin®" show airs every Saturday in twelve television markets statewide. A total of $225,000 was won by contestants appearing on this Saturday, May 17 on the "Big Spin®" show.

Harold Samuels
Harold Samuels

The Fantasy 5 contestant appearing on this week’s show was Harold Samuels, an insurance agent from Woodland Hills who won $80,000. Samuels said, "I plan to buy a car and take a trip to Canada with this money." Samuels purchased his ticket at Green Jug Liquor in Woodland Hills.

Dream Machine players 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. 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.

Margarita Ramirez
Margarita Ramirez

There were two contestants that tried to win a chance to spin the big wheel on this week’s show. The first contestant that won a chance to spin the prize wheel from the California Gold elimination round was Margarita Ramirez, a retiree from Hayward who won $60,000. Ramirez said, "I’m going to share this money with my family." Ramirez bought her lucky ticket at Flyers in San Francisco. The second runner-up from this California Gold round was Earnest Ivy Jr., a construction supervisor from Fresno who won $5,000.

The second contestant that made it to the big wheel from the California Gold game was Mary Hill, a retiree from Hayward, who won $40,000. When asked about her plans on spending her winnings, Hill replied, "I plan to buy a home." Hill purchased her lucky ticket at Save Mart in Stockton. The second runner-up from this California Gold round was Maximino Donis, an assistant manager from Los Angeles, who won $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 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 locations statewide. The Lottery provides 51.9 percent of its revenues to players as prizes, 34.9 percent to public schools and 13.2 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.


Harold Samuels Woodland Hills $80,000
Margarita Ramirez Hayward $60,000
Mary Hill Hayward $40,000
Other California Gold Contestants   $45,000
TOTAL      $225,000
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See More Press Releases: May, 2003 | Winners Stories |