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Press release

March 10, 2001

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March, 2001 | Winners Stories

Fantasy 5TM Contestant Funds Five Childrens' College Educations


SACRAMENTO -- California Lottery's "Big Spin® 2000" show airs Saturday, March 10, 2001, in twelve television markets statewide. Contestants on this week's show won a combined total of $387,500.

"I might just take a little vacation," said Gloria Walker of Los Angeles. "I also want to put a down payment on a house and put something away for my grandkids' educations." Walker, a registered nurse, was this week's Camelot's Riches contestant. After three rounds of play, Walker won $125,000. Camelot's Riches is the California Lottery's newest way to get to the Big Spin 2000 show. 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 last round.

"I could just feel the energy when I spun the wheel," said computer analyst Ariel Rosales of Chino Hills. Rosales, who was accompanied by his wife to the show, was this week's top California Gold winner having spun the prize wheel to win $100,000. When asked what he would do with his prize, Rosales replied, "I'm going to pay off all my debts and save money for my kids' college," he said. Rosales bought a Big Spin Scratchers® ticket that revealed three "TV SHOW" symbols on one ticket which entitled him to appear on the Big Spin 2000 show. Other California Gold contestants won a total of $22,500.

When asked what her dreams were for the Fantasy 5 Dream Machine, Gail Cooper replied, "I dream of winning!" Cooper has five children, plays Fantasy 5, and will, "Pay for lots of tuition to fund all five of my childrens' educations," she said. She will be able to fulfill her dream with the $70,000 she won on this week's show. Cooper, a homemaker from Temple City, who already has four of her five children attending college, was the top Fantasy 5 winner on this week's show.

Next up at the Fantasy 5 Dream Machine was Las Vegas resident, Matt Howell. "I'm going to make some home improvements and go on a trip to Australia," said Howell, an automotive consultant. "I'm also going to share part of my $30,000 prize money with my family," he said, which made his family, who were in the audience, very happy! 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 worth of Fantasy 5 games are purchased on one playslip.

Natalee Hyden of Nice went to a local grocery store and bought two "Big Spin" Scratchers tickets. One ticket won her a "free ticket" which she redeemed and took home without scratching it. Two hours later, she scratched the ticket and it revealed three "SPIN" symbols. That ticket entitled Hyden to a direct trip to the largest prize wheel in the world, where she won $40,000. "My son is graduating from high school and I'm going to use most of the prize money I won for his college education," said Hyden. "I'm also going to invest a little and have a lot of fun with what's left," she said.

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.

Gloria Walker Los Angeles $ 125,000
Ariel Rosales Chino Hills $ 100,000
Gail Cooper Temple City $ 70,000
Natalee Hyden Nice $ 40,000
Matt Howell Las Vegas $ 30,000
Other California Gold winners   $ 22,500
  TOTAL $387,500
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