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Press release

March 7, 2003

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March, 2003 | Supporting Education | Northern California

Actor John Glover Presents California Lottery's Hero in Education Award to Mark Freeman


SACRAMENTO -- California Lottery's "The Big Spin®" show airs Saturday, March 8, 2003, in twelve television markets statewide. Contestants on this week's show win a total of $1,142,500.

Actor John Glover presented Mark Freeman with the California Lottery's Hero in Education Award. Freeman is a volunteer at two schools in San Francisco.

For the past four years, Freeman has been spending his time working with fourth and fifth grade students at Paul Revere Elementary School and San Francisco Community Alternative School. Each week, Freeman shares a unique talent with these students. The ability to combine two activities that don't always go together, learning and fun!

Freeman does this in a number of ways. He takes simple reading assignments and turns them into class read-alouds. He teaches the kids about history and culture by taking them on field trips to interesting places like Angel Island and The San Francisco Symphony.

John Glover is a talented actor whose film credits include Robocop 2, Scrooged, Batman and Robin and Payback. He's television roles include L.A. Law, Crime & Punishment and Frasier. He is best known as Lex Luther's father, Lionel on the WB series Smallville.

The Spin-Spin-Spin contestant on this week's show is Rodolfo Rodriguez, a retiree from Fontana who wins $1 million! Rodriguez explained, "I plan to share this money with my family." Rodriguez is married and has three kids. Rodriguez purchased his lucky ticket at Topp's Market in Fontana. Rodriguez bought a "Big Spin" Scratchers® ticket which revealed three "SPIN" symbols on one ticket, that ticket entitled Rodriguez to a direct trip to the prize wheel.

The Fantasy 5 contestant appearing on this week's show is Peter Gonsalves, a machinist from Occidental. Gonsalves wins $60,000 and he explained his plans for this money, "I plan to use it to buy a house." Gonsalves bought his ticket at Safeway in Sebastopol.

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 Helen Leatherwood, a retiree from Camarillo who won $60,000. Leatherwood said, "I want to invest this money in the family business." Leatherwood bought her lucky ticket at Neal's Food Market in Camarillo. The second runner-up from the California Gold round is Monsarrat Figueroa, a businesswoman from Montclair, 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 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.


Rodolfo Rodriguez Fontana $1,000,000
Peter Gonsalves Occidental $60,000
Helen Leatherwood Camarillo $60,000
Other California Gold Contestants   $22,500
TOTAL      $1,142,500
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