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Press release

November 23, 1999

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November, 1999 | Lottery Performance



SACRAMENTO - The multi-million dollar game show wars are heating up. Fox Television is backing down on its claims of offering the largest prizes in TV history, after being challenged by the California Lottery®. Contestants of the Lottery's "Big Spin® 2000" TV game show have won nearly $22 million in prizes since January.

"Nobody on the planet gives away more money on television than the Lottery. Fox's claims challenge our credibility, and we can't stand by and watch," said Lottery Commissioner David Rosenberg. The California Lottery's promotional spots state that the "Big Spin 2000" television show "gives away more money than any game show on the planet." "Big Spin" show contestants have won more than $713 million since the show first aired in 1985.

Fox has made claims in promotional spots and on the Fox TV show "Greed" that the two million-dollar top prize is the largest prize in television history. The Lottery's "Big Spin 2000" TV game show offers a top prize of three million dollars and in the past has awarded $15.2 million to a single winner.

The California Lottery and Fox have reached agreement on the matter. In future promotional announcements for its game show "Greed," Fox has agreed that it will not represent that the pay-off on "Greed" is larger than that of the California State Lottery, and that it will use "words to the effect that Greed has the biggest pay-off in network television game show history." Since "Big Spin 2000" is syndicated in California only, the use of "network" makes Fox's promotional statements factually correct.

Since the October 1985 debut of the California Lottery's "Big Spin" TV game show, 350 contestants have won prizes of a million dollars or more, totaling over $713 million. The largest prize awarded on the show was $15,220,000 to winner Paul Spencer of Saratoga, California. Additionally, several of the 37 U.S. lotteries have TV game shows and some of those shows have awarded prizes of $1 million or more.

Thirty-four percent of California Lottery revenues go to California's public schools. That sum to California schools totals $11 Billion dollars since 1985. 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 percent to public schools, and 14 percent for administrative expenses, which includes 6.8 percent for retailer commissions. The "Big Spin® 2000" TV show is the longest running Lottery game show in the country, airing continuously since 1985.

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See More Press Releases: November, 1999 | Lottery Performance |