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Press release

March 3, 2001

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March, 2001 | Winners Stories

Contestants Win Nearly $250,000 On "Big Spin® 2000"


SACRAMENTO - California Lottery's "Big Spin® 2000" show airs Saturday, March 3, 2001, in twelve television markets statewide. Contestants on this week's show won a combined total of $247,500. Senator Richard Polanco will present Ms. Cecil Castelucci with the California Lottery's "Hero In Education" award.

Senator Polanco was elected to the California State Senate in 1994 where he now serves as Senate Majority Leader representing the Twenty Second District. Senator Polanco has authored essential legislation that helped fuel California's economic recovery and has been a leader in education, healthcare, children's issues, prison reform, water resources, transportation and technology.

The Senator nominated Ms. Castelucci for the "Hero in Education" award for her volunteer efforts with the Museum of Radio and Television and with Public School Arts Education and for her focus on making the community and the world around her "a better place." Castelucci wanted to help kids learn more about the arts but wanted to take her efforts into the classroom where she knew she could really make a difference. She was specifically interested in finding a literacy program. Her search began and before long Castelucci signed up with the "Reading by 9" (Rby9) program.

"I'm going to open up my own computer repair business," said Laguna Beach computer repairman Daniel Thompson. Thompson was this week's SPIN-SPIN-SPIN contestant. Thompson bought a "Big Spin 2000" Scratchers ticket which revealed three "SPIN" symbols on one ticket. Thompson has only bought one "Big Spin" Scratchers® ticket in his life and that ticket entitled Thompson to spin the prize wheel. "I'm in the pursuit of happiness and I plan to have a good time with this!" said Thompson. Happiness he will have, Thompson won $50,000!

"We're in this together," said Modesto resident Daniel Griffitts. "I bought the ticket so my wife will decide where we go on vacation," Griffitts said. He won $75,000 playing California Gold. Thomas also plans to pay off his house with his prize money. Other California Gold contestants won a total of $22,500. California Gold is another way to get to the wheel on "Big Spin 2000". 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 2000" prize wheel, while the other contestant wins $5,000.

Melvin Kemp of Santa Maria won $25,000 on the Fantasy 5TM Dream Machine. When asked what exciting thing Kemp would do with his prize, he replied, "The most exciting thing I am going to do is to take a month's vacation!" Next up at the Dream Machine was Palo Alto resident George Thomas. "My wife wants to go to Jamaica, she has never been so it will be a second honeymoon after 28 years of marriage." Thomas won $75,000 and said he would also like to use his prize money to bring a smile to his wife's face.

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 52.5 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 $12 billion for public 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.

George Thomas Palo Alto $ 75,000
Daniel Griffitts Modesto $ 75,000
Daniel Thompson Laguna Beach $ 50,000
Melvin Kemp Santa Maria $ 25,000
Other California Gold winners   $ 22,500
  TOTAL $247,500
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