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Press release

February 14, 2003

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February, 2003 | Winners Stories

Contestants Win $222,500 on The Big Spin® Show


SACRAMENTO -- California Lottery's "The Big Spin®" show airs Saturday, February 15, 2003, in twelve television markets statewide. Contestants on this week's show win a total of $222,500.

Senator Nell Soto presented Norm Cosme with the California Lottery's Exceptional Educator Award on "The Big Spin" show. Assemblymember Soto explains, "Norm's day does not begin at a mainstream school with mainstream students. Instead, this retired marine officer marches into one of San Bernardino County's most challenging environments, Juvenile Court Schools. His students are troubled teens, academically and behaviorally challenged and at-risk for continued failure."

Through Cosme's determination to get his students on the right path, he quickly sets the tone. Cosme's students are awakened to the reality that they are on their last educational opportunity. They are truly in the "school of hard knocks," and possibly for the first time in their lives they begin to take education seriously. Soto concluded, "Norm, for being their teacher, leader, and most importantly their reliable mentor, it is my pleasure to proclaim you an Exceptional Educator."

Sarah Waeyenbergh
Sarah Waeyenbergh

Fantasy 5 Dream Machine contestants win a total of $130,000 on this week's show. The first contestant appearing on this week's show is Sarah Waeyenbergh, a homemaker from Huntington Beach. Waeyenbergh wins $90,000 and she explained her plans for the money, "I will travel to Europe." Waeyenbergh bought her lucky ticket at Bistro Liquor in Huntington Beach. The second contestant is Ernesto Caridad, a security officer from San Francisco, who wins $40,000. He plans to travel with his winnings. Caridad bought his ticket at Bell Market in San Francisco. 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.

Jose Del Toro
Jose Del Toro

This week's finalist at the California Gold game is Jose Del Toro, a maintenance worker from La Puente, who wins $40,000. "I plan to use this money to pay bills and to travel," said Del Toro. The second runner-up from this California Gold round is Gary Ross, a welder from Sacramento, 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.

John Raith
John Raith

The Spin-Spin-Spin contestant on this week's show is John Raith, a maintenance worker from Antioch who wins $30,000. Raith explained, "I plan to pay bills and help out my family with this money." Raith purchased his ticket at Buskirk Chevron in Pleasant Hill. Raith bought a "Big Spin" Scratchers® ticket which revealed three "SPIN" symbols on one ticket, that ticket entitled Raith to a direct trip to the prize wheel.

The California Lottery® sells its products through a network of more than 18,000 retail outlets statewide. The Lottery provides 52 percent of its revenues to players as prizes, 34.7 percent to public schools and 13.3 percent for administrative expenses, which includes 6.8 percent for retailer commissions. Since 1985, the Lottery has raised more than $14 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.


Sarah Waeyenbergh Huntington Beach $90,000
Ernesto Caridad San Francisco $40,000
Jose Del Toro La Puente $40,000
John Raith Antioch $30,000
Other California Gold Contestants   $22,500
TOTAL      222,500
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