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Press release

March 24, 2001

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March, 2001 | Supporting Education | Northern California

Van Nuys Resident Wins $100,000 On "Big Spin® 2000" Show


SACRAMENTO -- California Lottery's "Big Spin® 2000" show airs Saturday, March 24, 2001, in twelve television markets statewide. Contestants on this week's show won a combined total of $282,500.

Vallejo resident Philmore Graham was awarded California Lottery's "Hero in Education" award on this week's show. Graham founded "The Continentals of Omega Boys and Girls Club" thirty-four years ago. Through the club, children learn study skills, take visual and fine art classes, public speaking and computer classes, go to summer reading and math workshops, receive one-on-one tutoring and attend Skills Management And Resistance Training (SMART). The Continentals of Omega Boys and Girls Club now encompasses over 1200 children, many of whom have succeeded in their community, attended medical and law school, and as many as 12 members of whom have achieved doctorate degrees. Actor Bo Svenson, who is best known for his portrayal of Sheriff Buford Pusser in two "Walking Tall" films, presented Gram with the "Hero in Education" award.

"It was really weird, as if it was just meant to be," said George Coutoupis, a data processor and actor from Van Nuys. I was heading out the door of a local coffee shop when I turned around and asked the woman at the counter for five Scratchers® tickets." Coutoupis said the woman pulled off four tickets, hesitated and then went to pull off one "Big Spin" Scratchers. That ticket won Coutoupis a chance to spin the prize wheel where he won $100,000. "This money will give me the financial freedom to pursue my dreams," said Coutoupis. "This will give me the opportunity to return to my acting career," he said.

Big Spin 2000's newest game, Camelot's Riches, had one contestant on this week's show. Kathryn Longoria a homemaker and mother of seven from Morgan Hill, won $85,000. "I'm going to spend it on my kids and take a vacation with my husband," said Longoria.

Moreno Valley resident Wanda Cordero was this week's top California Gold winner. "My husband and I need to get away and take a vacation," Cordero said after winning $75,000. " I would also like to put some money down on a house and invest the rest for my children's education," 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.

George Coutoupis Van Nuys $ 100,000
Kathryn Longoria Morgan Hill $ 85,000
Wanda Cordero Moreno Valley $ 75,000
Other California Gold winners   $ 22,500
  TOTAL $282,500
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