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Press release

February 17, 2001

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February, 2001 | Winners Stories | Southern California

Long Beach Resident Wins $70,000


SACRAMENTO -- California Lottery's "Big Spin® 2000" show airs Saturday, February 17, 2001, in twelve television markets statewide. Contestants on this week's show won a combined total of $217,500.

After winning $70,000 on the Fantasy 5TM Dream Machine, contestant Sheldon Nelson of Long Beach said, "I'm going to pay off some debts and possibly buy a home." 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.

Restaurant employee, Manuel Flores of North Hollywood was this week's top California Gold contestant. Flores won $40,000 and said, "I haven't seen my mother in over 11 years and I want to visit her with the money I win." Other California Gold contestants won a combined total of $22,500. California Gold is one way to get to the wheel on "Big Spin 2000". 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 2000" prize wheel, while the other contestant wins $5,000.

Edward Carpenter, a drywall worker from Lancaster was this week's contestant on the new Camelot's Riches game. Before he played, he said, "I'm going to take a vacation to Arizona and buy a car." When asked what kind of car, Carpenter replied, "One that runs." Show host Pat Finn wished Carpenter the best by saying "may the luck of Merlin be with you" and Carpenter went on to win $35,000. Camelot's Riches is the California Lottery's newest way to get to the "Big Spin 2000". The game is played by pulling on King Arthur's sword, "Excalibur," which starts a set of two different colored balls racing down the ramps to the finish line. The contestant's prize is decided by which color ball crosses the finish line first. Three rounds are played and the final prize is totaled after the three rounds have ended.

Before this week's SPIN-SPIN-SPIN contestant Ronald Honahnie spun the wheel, show hostess Maiquel Alejo asked, "Do you believe you are here?" Honahnie replied, "I'm here and I can't wait to see what happens." Honahnie, an autobody technician from Hayward, said he wasn't quite sure what he would do with the $50,000 he won, but plans to spend it wisely. Honahnie bought a "Big Spin 2000" Scratchers ticket and it revealed three "SPIN" symbols on one ticket and this entitled him to a direct trip to the prize wheel.

The California Lottery sells its products through a network of more than 18,000 outlets statewide. The Lottery provides 52.5 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. Since 1985, the Lottery has raised more than $12 billion for public schools. The California Lottery's contribution equals approximately 2 percent of the state's total education budget. "Big Spin® 2000" is the longest running Lottery game show in the country, airing continuously since 1985.

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See More Press Releases: February, 2001 | Winners Stories | Southern California