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Press release

April 20, 2002

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April, 2002 | Winners Stories



SACRAMENTO -- California Lottery's "The Big Spin®" show airs Saturday, April 20, 2002, in twelve television markets statewide. Contestants on this week's show win a total of $322,500.

Senator DeDe Alpert presented Karen Wroblewski with the California Lottery's Exceptional Educator Award on "The Big Spin" show. Senator Alpert explains, "Karen's passionate belief that students learn best when given authentic life experiences prompted Karen to create an innovative project based learning program for seniors at San Diego High School who are at-risk of not graduating." One of the benefits of this program are the reading tools and techniques students learn to become one on one tutors and reading mentors to local elementary students. Alpert continued, "Lynn, because of your dedication and innovative hands on approach to help students to succeed in school, it is my privilege to proclaim you an Exceptional Educator."

When asked about the success of the innovative program, Wroblewski explained, "When students expectations are set high, students tend to rise to the occasion and meet them."

Fantasy 5 Dream Machine contestants win a total of $200,000 on this week's show. The first contestant appearing on this week's show is David Swopes, a maintenance man from Hayward. Swopes wins $115,000 and he plans to, "buy a new car and travel," with his prize. Next up at the Dream Machine is Craig Shelby, a real estate worker from Aliso Viejo who wins $85,000. "I want to buy a new Corvette," explains Shelby after his win. 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.

Hoa-Mai Troung, an assembler from Westminster is the contestant that spins the prize wheel from the California Gold elimination round and wins $75,000. "I'll buy a house for my father," said Troung. The second runner-up from this California Gold round is Luz Jordan, a newspaper deliverer from Manhattan Beach, who wins $5,000.

California Gold is another way to get to the wheel on "The Big Spin" show. 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.

The Spin-Spin-Spin contestant on this week's show is Gloria Ibarra, a house cleaner from La Habra who wins $25,000. Ibarra plans to use her winnings towards her retirement. Ibarra bought a "Big Spin" Scratchers® ticket which revealed three "SPIN" symbols on one ticket, that ticket entitled her to a direct trip to the prize wheel.

The California Lottery sells its products through a network of more than 18,000 retail 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 $13 billion for public schools. The Lottery's contribution equals approximately 2 percent of the state's total education budget. "The Big Spinâ" is the longest running Lottery game show in the country, airing continuously since 1985.


David Swopes Fremont $115,000
Craig Shelby Aliso Viejo $85,000
Hoa-Mai Troung Westminster $75,000
Gloria Ibarra La Habra $25,000
Other California Gold Contestants $22,500
TOTAL      $322,500
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