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Press release

April 11, 2003

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April, 2003 | Supporting Education | Northern California

Santa Rosa High School Receives "Lottery Funds at Work" Award


SACRAMENTO -- California Lottery's "The Big Spin®" show airs Saturday, April 12, 2003, in twelve television markets statewide. Contestants on this week's show win a total of $85,000.

Assemblymember Patricia Wiggins presented Santa Rosa High School with the California Lottery's "Funds at Work" award on "The Big Spin" show. Assemblymember Wiggins explains, "Despite economic downturn and budget cuts, the administrators at Santa Rosa High School have established themselves as academic leaders, resourcefully putting Lottery funds to work. Lottery funds are used to support their renowned program called Art-Quest."

With the understanding that the arts is connected to academic learning, seven different visual and performing arts concentrations are offered along with stimulating core classes that combine the arts with English, World History, and Math. The goal is to provide a rigorous, well rounded education as a stepping stone to higher learning. For nine consecutive years, Santa Rosa High School seniors have earned the highest SAT scores in the district, well above the national average. The school has earned the reputation of sending the most students in Sonoma County to four-year universities. Wiggins concluded, "On behalf of the California Lottery, it is my privilege to present the "Lottery Funds at Work" award to Santa Rosa High School."

Robert Shotwell

The Spin-Spin-Spin contestant on this week's show is Robert Shotwell, a plumber from Riverside who wins $25,000. Shotwell explained, "I plan to pay off bills and go on vacation with my winnings." Shotwell purchased his ticket at 7-Eleven in Riverside. Shotwell bought a "Big Spin" Scratchers® ticket which revealed three "SPIN" symbols on one ticket, that ticket entitled Shotwell to a direct trip to the prize wheel.

"Weekly Payday Raceway" contestant, Hector Aguilar from Los Angeles, 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. Aguilar purchased his lucky ticket at 7-Eleven in Los Angeles. 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, Aguilar, 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.

Melinda Simpkins

The contestant that wins a chance to spin the prize wheel from the California Gold elimination round is Melinda Simpkins from Compton, who wins $20,000. "I plan to buy a car with my winnings," said Simpkins. Simpkins purchased her lucky ticket at A & D Mini Mart in Compton. The second runner-up from this California Gold round is Leocadia Estrada from Los Angeles, 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.


Robert Shotwell Riverside $25,000
Melinda Simpkins Compton $20,000
Other California Gold Contestants   $22,500
Other Weekly Payday Raceway Contestants   $17,500
TOTAL      $85,000
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