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January 18, 2003

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January, 2003 | Supporting Education | Northern California

Salinas Teacher Receives "Exceptional Educator Award"


SACRAMENTO — California Lottery's "The Big Spin®" show airs Saturday, January 18, 2003, in twelve television markets statewide. Contestants on this week's show win a total of $120,000.

Assemblymember Richard Polanco presented Cynthia Peña with the California Lottery's Exceptional Educator Award on "The Big Spin" show. Assemblymember Polanco explains, "Cynthia is a veteran teacher of over 20 years. Her dedication to make sure no student is left behind is clearly exemplified with her current work with multi-handicapped students at Bardin Elementary School in Salinas."

Each student in Peña's special day class has unique learning requirements. Peña has adopted an extraordinary style of teaching that incorporates lessons that grab the interest of these special students. Each lesson masterfully includes hands-on instruction, listening exercises, visual formats and field trips. She goes the extra mile because she believes that these special students learn through a variety of modes and each student deserves to experience the excitement of learning. Polanco concluded, "Cynthia, for your extraordinary efforts to help your students succeed, I'm proud to proclaim you an Exceptional Educator."

Virginia Johnson
Virginia Johnson

The Spin-Spin-Spin contestant on this week's show is Virginia Johnson, a machine operator from Lompoc who wins $30,000. Johnson explained, "I plan to have fun spending this money." Johnson purchased her ticket at Speedy Food Mart in Lompoc. Johnson bought a "Big Spin" Scratchers® ticket which revealed three "SPIN" symbols on one ticket, that ticket entitled Johnson to a direct trip to the prize wheel.

Rodney Doering
Rodney Doering

"Weekly Payday Raceway" contestant, Rodney Doering, an operating engineer from Selma, will progress to the final round of play for a chance to win $2,000 a week for 20 years; winning a total grand prize of over $2 million. Doering purchased his lucky ticket at Brisbane Inn in Brisbane. On this week's show, six contestants competed in the first preliminary round of the game moving simulated racecars along a racetrack. Of the six, one contestant, Doering, moved on to the final round of play. Other "Weekly Payday Raceway" contestants won a combined total of $17,500 with prizes ranging from $2,500 to $5,000.

The contestant that wins a chance to spin the prize wheel from the California Gold elimination round is Joanne Bennett from Bakersfield, who wins $50,000. "I plan to buy a house with my winnings," said Bennett. Bennett purchased her lucky ticket at Bakersfield Food City in Bakersfield. The second runner-up from this California Gold round is Leneal Casey from Lynwood, who wins $5,000.

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, 34.7 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.


Joanne Bennett Bakersfield $50,000
Virginia Johnson Lompoc $30,000
Other California Gold Contestants   $22,500
Other Weekly Payday Raceway Contestants   $17,500
TOTAL      $120,000
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