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Press release

September 15, 2001

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September, 2001 | Winners Stories



SACRAMENTO -- California Lottery's "The Big Spin®" show airs Saturday, September 15, 2001, in twelve television markets statewide. Contestants on this week's show won a total of $395,000.

California Gold finalists won a total of $175,000 on this week's show. Art King, Jr., a school custodian from Simi Valley, was the first of this week's finalists in the California Gold game. King told the story of how he planned to spend his prize. "I'm going to buy my wife a new car." When asked why he would do something so nice, he said, "Because hers broke down on the way here." After watching the ball bounce out of one $100,000 slot only to land in another one, he glanced at his wife, shrugged and said, "She needs a new car." The other finalist from California Gold was Alexander Lautz, a retiree from North Highlands. Lautz, who has been married for 54 years, had a wonderful disposition explaining, "There is no such thing as strangers because strangers are just friends you haven't met yet." Lautz had many plans for his prize money saying, "I have a lot of bills to pay and I'll try to stretch it to retirement and there are a few people who are down and out on their luck and maybe I can help them." Lautz won $75,000. California Gold is another way to get to the wheel on "The Big Spin". The game starts with 10 contestants whose Big Spin Scratchers® tickets each revealed three "TV SHOW" symbols on one ticket. When instructed, each player pushes down a "detonator" to reveal a prize ranging from $1,750 to $4,000. Two of those contestants will reveal gold nuggets and advance to the second round of play. Once there, they compete to see who can get the closest to 10 units of "gold nuggets" in their mining car without going over. The winner of this round goes to "The Big Spin" prize wheel, while the other contestant wins $5,000.

Elizabeth Witcofski, an esthetician from La Mesa, was this week's contestant on Camelot's Riches. Witcofski won $85,000 and according to her, she plans to buy, "A house and a Harley." Camelot's Riches is one of the California Lottery's newest ways to get to the Big Spin. The game is played by pulling on King Arthur's sword, "Excalibur," which starts a set of two different colored balls racing down the ramps to the finish line. The contestant's prize is decided by which color ball crosses the finish line first. Three rounds are played and the final prize is totaled after the three rounds have ended.

Ernesto Rivera, an insurance broker from Los Angeles, was the only contestant this week at the Dream Machine. Rivera said his dream would be, "To get the $150,000." He went on to say, "Let's win the money and then we will spend it," referencing his wife as the one who will probably spend it. Rivera won $90,000. At the Fantasy 5 Dream Machine, players have up to five chances to launch one ball at a time into one of the five bins in the pinball-type game, each bin representing a cash amount. Prizes are cumulative, but only one ball may land in each bin to claim the prize amount. Players appearing on this segment qualify by mailing an entry form to the Lottery when $5 of Fantasy 5 games are purchased on one playslip.

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 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.

Art King Simi Valley $100,000
Ernesto Rivera Los Angeles $90,000
Elizabeth Witcofski La Mesa $85,000
Alexander Lautz North Highlands $75,000
Other California Gold Contestants   $45,000
  TOTAL $395,000
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See More Press Releases: September, 2001 | Winners Stories |