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Press release

October 20, 2001

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October, 2001 | Winners Stories



SACRAMENTO -- California Lottery's "The Big Spin®" show airs Saturday, October 20, 2001, in twelve television markets statewide. Contestants on this week's show won a total of $442,500.

Cloverdale residents Cheri Nicholson and Lohrie Pardue were awarded the California Lottery's "Heroes In Education" award. Nicholson and Pardue are parent volunteers at Jefferson Elementary School in Cloverdale. Over the past 4 years they have dedicated their time and energy to improving the atmosphere both in and out of Jefferson's classrooms. From providing rewards for good cafeteria behavior to encouraging participation in the student banking program, Cheri & Lohrie are making sure Jefferson students are learning life lessons as well as learning the 3 R's. According to their nominator, Margaret Shafer, "In addition to the time and energy that they have dedicated to our school, they have both made significant financial contributions always without seeking any sort of recognition or thanks. These ladies do not work alone, they have a dedicated group of about 10 parents who help them, but at a small school like Jefferson (500 students) these ladies are an invaluable asset. They have both faithfully volunteered in classrooms with their children for the past 4 years."

Actor Bernie Koppel, who is best remembered as "Doctor Adam Bricker" from the television series The Love Boat, presented Nicholson and Pardue with the "Heroes In Education" award for their outstanding contributions to education.

Marty Selko, a proxy for his wife, Irit Selko, was this week's finalist at the California Gold game winning $225,000. The Selkos, residents of Agoura Hills, want to buy a summer home and donate some their prize to needy people. When Mr. Selko was asked where the summer home would be, he readily answered, "On the beach in Ventura." Selko's first spin landed on the "TRIPLE" spoke and his next spin landed on the $75,000 spoke giving him and his wife a grand total of $225,000. California Gold is another way to get to the wheel on "The Big Spin". 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 10 units. The winner of this round goes to "The Big Spin" prize wheel, while the other contestant wins $5,000.

Jesse Gomez, a nurse from Los Angeles, was the only Fantasy 5 Dream Machine contestant on this week's show. Gomez only needed three of the five balls possible to win $95,000. He plans to use the money as a down payment on a house and to pay off bills. 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.

Scott Hallett, a fireman from Atascadero, received some Scratchers tickets for his birthday. One of the tickets revealed three "SPIN" symbols and entitled Hallett to a direct trip to the prize wheel. Once at the wheel, Hallett was thanked by host Pat Finn for taking on such an honorable profession as firefighting. Hallett was accompanied by his wife, parents, grandmother and sister who had the opportunity to watch him win $100,000. Hallett plans to buy a house with his prize.

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 $13 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.

Marty & Irit Selko Agoura Hills $225,000
Scott Hallett Clovis $100,000
Jesse Gomez Lakewood $95,000
Other California Gold Contestants   $22,500
  TOTAL $442,500
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