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Press release

December 15, 2001

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December, 2001 | Winners Stories | Southern California



SACRAMENTO -- California Lottery's "The Big Spin®" show airs Saturday, December 15, 2001, in twelve television markets statewide. Contestants on this week's show won a total of $1,082,500.

An Orange County pediatrician, Dr. Paul Qaqundah, was awarded the California Lottery's "Hero in Education" Award. Dr. Qaqundah has given of his time for more than 26 years to support the health of children throughout all twenty-eight of the Orange County school districts. Qaqundah was presented the award by Actor Tony Dow who is best known for his role as 'Wally Cleaver', 'Beaver Cleaver's' big brother on the TV series Leave It To Beaver.

Qaqundah is the School Health Chair of the Orange County Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics and has been very involved in that organization statewide. Qaqundah has worked diligently with individual districts to ensure the success of Healthy Start programs such as Healthy Tomorrows in Santa Ana and in the Ocean View School Districts. Currently he is working with several physicians, community businesses and agencies to fund two mobile asthma clinics to serve all Orange County youth and their families. Beyond all of these projects, Dr. Qaqundah acts as the individual physician consultant for numerous children when they are unable to get care or treatment from anywhere else. He is described by the parents in the Orange County School Districts as, "The school nurses' hero and the students' guardian angel."

The only Spin-Spin-Spin contestant on this week's show was Alicia Turpin, a student from Los Angeles who won $1,000,000! Turpin plans on buying her mother a house and herself a car with her prize. Turpin was extremely excited after she won her newfound riches and was joined on the stage by a number of her family and friends. Turpin bought a "Big Spin" Scratchers® ticket which revealed three "SPIN" symbols on one ticket, that ticket entitled her to a direct trip to the prize wheel.

This week's finalist at the California Gold game was Jose Astorga, a Salinas resident who won $40,000. Astorga plans to let his mother retire with his prize. 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 winner of this round goes to "The Big Spin" prize wheel, while the other contestant wins $5,000.

The lone Fantasy 5 contestant on this week's show was Jun Diapo, a retiree from Burbank, who won $20,000. Diapo is no stranger to The Big Spin; he appeared in June of 1999 and played the Fantasy 5 Dream Machine for the first time when he won $55,000. Diapo attributes his luck to a saying he lives by, "A quitter never wins and a winner never quits." 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.

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.

Alicia Turpin Los Angeles $1,000,000
Jose Astorga Salinas $40,000
Jun Diapo Burbank $20,000
Other California Gold Contestants   $22,500
  TOTAL $1,082,500
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See More Press Releases: December, 2001 | Winners Stories | Southern California