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Press release

December 4, 1999

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December, 1999 | Winners Stories

Palo Alto Resident Becomes 350th Millionaire On Big Spin® 2000 Show - Assembly Member Herb J. Wesson, Jr. Awards "Hero In Education"


SACRAMENTO -- California Lottery's "Big Spin® 2000" show airs Saturday, December 4, 1999 in twelve television markets statewide. Contestants on this week's show won a total of $1,267,500.

Benjamin Flores, a cook from Palo Alto, had a winning Scratchers® ticket with three "SPIN" symbols on it. This won him a direct trip to the largest prize wheel in the world. Once at the wheel, Flores spun and won $1,000,000! Flores said, "I'm going to buy my own restaurant." He also plans to use part of his $1,000,000 prize money to see his family and take a vacation. Flores became the 350th contestant to win a prize of $1 million or more on the California Lottery's game show.

Joan Jackson has been involved in the education community since 1958 as a school-age teacher, enrichment teacher, lead teacher and children's center supervisor. Her volunteer efforts include work in Juvenile Hall, Los Angeles Bridges Program, Safety Belt Safe USA, the Tenth District Women's Steering Committee, Children's Center Task Force Chair, and Advisory Co-Chair for the Teen Parenting and Day Care Center. For Jackson's phenomenal dedication towards education, the California Lottery has awarded Jackson with the "Hero In Education" award. Assembly member Herb J. Wesson, Jr. presented Jackson with the "Hero in Education" award.

Big Spin® 2000's newest game, "High Roller," brought contestant Maria Garcia, a restaurant owner from San Fernando, a $120,000 prize. After winning $60,000, Garcia took a chance to ride the roller coaster for a second time and doubled her win for $120,000. Garcia is not sure what she will do with her prize money. High Roller contestant Jose Rodriguez of Montclair won $5,000.

This week's California Gold contestants won a combined total of $82,500. The top California Gold winner was Jesus Garcia, of La Puente. Garcia hit the Motherload and won $60,000. As for Garcia's plans for his prize money, he said, "I want to buy a new car and put a down payment on a house." Other California Gold contestants won a total of $22,500.

"I'm going to have lot's of fun with my grandchildren," said Fantasy 5
TM winner Vivian Palm. Palm, a resident of Lompoc, won $60,000 and plans to go on vacation and spend some of her prize money on her grandchildren.

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 $11 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.

Benjamin Flores Palo Alto $ 1,000,000
Maria Garcia San Fernando $ 120,000
Jesus Garcia La Puente $ 60,000
Vivian Palm Lompoc $ 60,000
Jose Rodriguez Montclair $ 5,000
Other California Gold Winners   $ 22,500
  TOTAL $ 1,267,500
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See More Press Releases: December, 1999 | Winners Stories |