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Press release

May 12, 2001

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May, 2001 | Winners Stories

"Twice As Grand" Contestants Play For More Than $2 Million


SACRAMENTO -- California Lottery's "Big Spin®" show airs Saturday, May 12, 2001, in twelve television markets statewide. Contestants on this week's show won a combined total of $95,000.

Shirley Bennett of Van Nuys said she was so excited when she found out she was going to be a contestant on the Big Spin® show that she could hardly contain herself. Bennett won $30,000 as this week's SPIN-SPIN-SPIN contestant. "I'm going to share my prize money with my daughter and granddaughter," she said.

California Gold contestants won a combined total of $47,500 on this week's show. Contestant Hortensia George was the top winner with $25,000. George, a nurse from Fontana said, "I want to open up my own gift shop business." Other California Gold contestants won a combined total of $22,500, including Tabitha Nash of Merced, who won $5,000.

"Twice As Grand" contestant, Jesus Cervantes of Watsonville, 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. Cervantes, a butcher by trade, said, "I'm going to buy a house with the money I win." 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, Cervantes, moved on to the final round of play. Other "Twice As Grand" contestants won a combined total of $17,500 with possible prizes ranging from $2,500 to $25,000.

The California Lottery sells its products through a network of more than 18,000 outlets statewide. The Lottery provides 52.7 percent of its revenues to players as prizes, 34.1 percent to public schools and 13.2 percent for administrative expenses, which includes 6.9 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®" is the longest running Lottery game show in the country, airing continuously since 1985.

Shirley Bennett Van Nuys $ 30,000
Hortensia George Fontana $ 25,000
Twice As Grand Winners   $ 17,500
Other California Gold Winners   $ 22,500
  TOTAL $95,000
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See More Press Releases: May, 2001 | Winners Stories |