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Press release

May 25, 2002

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May, 2002 | Winners Stories



SACRAMENTO -- California Lottery's "The Big Spin®" show airs Saturday, May 25, 2002, in twelve television markets statewide. Contestants on this week's show win a total of $285,000.

Rosa Ramirez
Rosa Ramirez

Fantasy 5 Dream Machine contestants win a total of $190,000 on this week's show. The first contestant appearing on this week's show is Rosa Ramirez, a retiree from Panorama City. Ramirez wins $85,000 and she explained her plans for the money, "I'll help my family and donate to charity." Ramirez bought her lucky ticket at Promotions Unlimited in Panorama City.

Amata Ah-Hong
Amata Ah-Hong
Next up at the Dream Machine is Amata Ah-Hong, a retiree from Compton who bought his ticket at Kevin Market in Compton wins $105,000. "I'm retired so I'll use this money to help my family," said Ah-Hong. 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.

Ki Lee
Ki Lee

There are two contestants that try to win a chance to spin the big wheel on this week's show. The first contestant that wins a chance to spin the prize wheel from the California Gold elimination round is Ki Lee, a snake shop owner from Downey, who wins $30,000. "I plan to help my son, my church, and travel to Korea with my winnings," said Lee. Lee purchased his lucky ticket at a Currency Exchange in Los Angeles. The second runner-up from this California Gold round is Victor Rea, a cook from San Francisco, who wins $5,000.

The second contestant that makes it to the big wheel from the California Gold game is Shelly Itzkowitz, a secretary from Chatsworth who wins $20,000. When asked what her plans to do with her prize, Itzkowitz replied, "I plan to buy a house." The second runner-up from this California Gold round is Margarita Gonzalez, a homemaker from Hawthorne, 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 52.7 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.


Amata Ah-Hong Compton $105,000
Rosa Ramirez Panorama City $85,000
Ki Lee Downey $30,000
Shelly Itzkowitz Chatsworth $20,000
Other California Gold Contestants $45,000
TOTAL      $285,000
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See More Press Releases: May, 2002 | Winners Stories |