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Press release

June 5, 1999

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June, 1999 | Winners Stories



SACRAMENTO -- The new California Lottery's "Big Spin® 2000" show airs Saturday June 5, 1999 in twelve television markets statewide. Contestants on this week's show won a total of $1,307,500, including the next Weekly Grand winner to be announced on the show.

James Countois, an eighty-nine year old librarian volunteer at the Dry Creek Elementary School is California Lottery's newest 'Hero in Education.' Countois, affectionately know as Mr. "C" has been helping students with their reading assignments, find books and has been there for those who need a friend and grandfather figure for eighteen years. When asked about his volunteer efforts, James said, "It keeps me young. I don't have time to think about growing old. I was not satisfied with my life doing nothing, so I went back to work." School district officials named Dry Creek library after Mr. "C" because of his long-term dedication to helping the school and it's students. Commenting on the naming of the library, the principal of Dry Creek Elementary said, "It's a small tribute for a man who has dedicated his whole life to children and the community…It's amazing how many lives he's touched." Actress Amy Pietz who portrays Annie Spadaro on the hit television series Caroline in the City, presented Countois with the "Hero in Education" award.

Michael Christensen, a contractor from Pasadena, was one of three persons who invested in a Scratchersâ ticket together that revealed three "SPIN" symbols on one ticket. Michael Christensen is the one who appeared on the show and he spun the wheel to win $120,000; the other two members were Roscoe King and Glen Christensen. Christensen, King and Christensen had made a pact, whenever anyone of them would buy a ticket, they would split the winnings. The buyer would get 50% and the other two 25%. King had gone to the store to get his wife some aspirin. He had one dollar left and asked the store clerk to pick out a Scratchers® for him. King didn't scratch the ticket off until two or three days later. At that time he realized they were on their way to the show. Christensen stated King had also won five out of six playing California Lottery's SuperLotto. Christensen plans to invest his share of the prize.

Fantasy 5 hosted two contestants from Long Beach. Norman Brodsky, a telecommunications consultant from Long Beach, New York was this week's top Fantasy 5 winner. While in California on business, Brodsky purchased a winning Fantasy 5 ticket. After playing all five balls, Brodsky won $65,000. Clive Barnett, a barber from Long Beach, California said, "I'm going to Hawaii for seven days of golf." Barnett won $20,000 playing Fantasy 5.

Retired Navy, William Winchell from San Diego is this week's top California Gold contestant winning $40,000. Winchell said, "I've been promising my wife a new Cadillac forever, now I'll be able to buy her one."

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 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 $10 billion for public schools and has provided an annual average of approximately 38 percent of the Lottery's total revenues to 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.

Weekly Grand Winner TBA $ 1,040,000
Michael Christensen Pasadena $ 120,000
Norman Bodsky Long Beach, NY $ 65,000
William Winchell San Diego $ 40,000
Clive Barnett Long Beach $ 22,500
Other California Gold Winners   $ 22,500
  TOTAL $1,307,500
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See More Press Releases: June, 1999 | Winners Stories |