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Press release

February 7, 2003

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February, 2003 | Winners Stories

Actress Charlene Tilton Presents California Lottery's Hero in Education Award to Deborah Walton


SACRAMENTO -- California Lottery's "The Big Spin®" show airs Saturday, February 8, 2003, in twelve television markets statewide. Contestants on this week's show win a total of $322,500.

Actress Charlene Tilton presented Deborah Walton with the California Lottery's Hero in Education Award. Walton is the founder of The Education Foundation of Sonoma County.

In 1991, Walton established this foundation, an organization that provides grants to teachers who develop public school programs that are aimed at getting Sonoma County's kids excited about learning. For 11 years, Walton has recruited teachers with ideas that take an unconventional approach to learning, and she has helped provide them with the funding needed to implement their unique projects.

With Walton's help, these educators are able to teach students about subjects like science, history, literature and geography. This allows students to take part in fun activities like pinhole photography, writing and illustrating, examining ancient artifacts, and even designing and building their own inventions.

Charlene Tilton is a talented actress who has starred in a number of television shows including Married with Children, Murder She Wrote and Saturday Night Live. Her movie credits include Totally Blonde and Problem Child 2 opposite John Ritter. She is best known as Lucy Ewing from the television series Dallas.

This week's finalist at the California Gold game is Ignacio Hernandez, a communications technician from Wilmington who won $150,000! Hernandez said, "I want to go on a very long vacation." Hernandez bought his lucky ticket at C J Liquor & Grocery in Wilmington. The second runner-up from the California Gold round is David Tijero from Dixon, 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 Eman Abd El Mesih from Van Nuys who wins $75,000. Abd El Mesih explained, "I plan to buy a house with this money." Abd El Mesih purchased her ticket at Exxon in Panorama City. Abd El Mesih bought a "Big Spin" Scratchers® ticket which revealed three "SPIN" symbols on one ticket, that ticket entitled Abd El Mesih to a direct trip to the prize wheel.

The Fantasy 5 contestant appearing on this week's show is Maria Co from Poway. Co wins $75,000 and she explained her plans for this money, "I plan to use it to go on a vacation to Hawaii." Co bought her ticket at Don's Liquor in Poway.

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 percent of its revenues to players as prizes, 34.7 percent to public schools and 13.3 percent for administrative expenses, which includes 6.8 percent for retailer commissions. Since 1985, the Lottery has raised more than $14 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.


Ignacio Hernandez Wilmington $150,000
Eman Abd El Mesih Van Nuys $75,000
Maria Co Poway $75,000
Other California Gold Contestants   $22,500
TOTAL      322,500
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