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Press release

January 19, 2002

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January, 2002 | Winners Stories



SACRAMENTO -- California Lottery's "The Big Spin®" show airs Saturday, January 19, 2002, in twelve television markets statewide. Contestants on this week's show won a total of $297,500.

The Spin-Spin-Spin contestant on this week's show was Aida Leyva, a first grade teacher from Los Angeles who won $30,000. Leyva who got her winning ticket as a gift from her boyfriend's sister plans to share the prize with her generous friend and pay-off bills. Leyva was thrilled to win her prize and came to the show with her boyfriend and his sister. Leyva scratched the "Big Spin" Scratchers® given to her on her birthday which revealed three "SPIN" symbols on the ticket that entitled her to a direct trip to the prize wheel.

This week's finalist at the California Gold game was Shirley Pemberton, the head cashier at a Rite Aid Drugstore in Clearlake, CA, who won $60,000. Pemberton brought a lucky charm and a lottery pin given to her by a customer who had spun the wheel before. "Is everyone this nervous," Pemberton asked? "I'm planning to go on an Alaskan cruise." Pemberton was accompanied by her husband, granddaughter, daughter and son-in-law. 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, Shirley Pemberton, went to "The Big Spin" prize wheel, while the other contestant Belinda Henderson won $5,000.

Three Fantasy 5 contestants appeared on this week's show beginning with Gerald Reichel of La Jolla , who won $85,000 on the Fantasy 5 Dream Machine. Mr. Reichel plans to buy his wife a new Honda Accord and remodel the kitchen. Carlos Garcia from San Bernardino was up next at the Fantasy 5 Dream Machine. Garcia, a car mechanic, won $30,000 at the Dream Machine and plans to use his prize money to buy tools for his business. Next at the Dream Machine was Larry Richey, a parts service manager from Pioneer who won $70,000. Richey plans to use his prize money to buy his wife a new car. Fantasy Five 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.

Aida Leyva Los Angeles $30,000
Shirley Pemberton Clearlake $60,000
Gerald Reichel La Jolla $85,000
Carlos Garcia San Bernardino $30,000
Larry Richey Pioneer $70,000
Other California Gold Contestants   $22,500
  TOTAL $297,500
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See More Press Releases: January, 2002 | Winners Stories |