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Press release

October 8, 2013

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October, 2013 | Lottery Performance

California Public Education Wins Big – Again!


Lottery’s First $20 Scratchers® Generating Cash to Help Asian Students Succeed   

SACRAMENTO – Forever emblazoned in her mind – Debra Watanuki recalls the dreadful stories of how her parents were rounded up during World War II and sent to “the camps.” Not surprisingly, the mental images have never completely faded. Now an attorney in the Bay Area, Watanuki points to that traumatic period involving her mother and father. She stresses it helped mold her commitment to education. “I remember the constant reminders that attending school was a privilege and to never take for granted our opportunity for an education,” Watanuki explained. “It was the path to financial security.”

Watanuki makes certain she reinforces those values now with her son who attends Mission San Jose High School – a powerhouse learning institution in Fremont that’s nationally renowned for its academics. In fact, every single member of the predominantly Asian student body (currently 85% of the enrollment) has graduated dating back to 2008 – a 100 percent graduation rate for six consecutive years and counting! – that’s virtually unheard of in this day and age. “For the Asian community, education is the top priority for every family. Parents are willing to sacrifice everything and put in all resources just for their children’s education,” said Nelson Huang, Chairman of the Southern California region of the Asian Pacific Islander American Public Affairs Association.

Thanks in part to the California Lottery – some of the resources Huang refers to are arriving in the form of much-appreciated financial support. During this past fiscal year, sales of Lottery products generated a whopping $1.28 billion for students. It’s the 13th consecutive year more than a billion dollars have been distributed to California public schools! “My parents immigrated to America so that my siblings and I can have an opportunity to succeed in life,” said Phong La, a member of the California Commission on Asian Pacific Islander Affairs. “Our schools are much better off because of the additional funds coming from the California Lottery.”

For instance, Mission San Jose High School uses a portion of its Lottery funding to pay for text books and supplement teachers’ salaries. It’s helping to preserve extras like art and sports – some of the first programs often cut due to budget issues. Last week, we decided to show up on campus with our cameras. We wanted to get an up and close look at how this Lottery money is playing a role in the academic success of these remarkable students. You can see for yourself by watching our video report. To see how much Lottery money your school district receives every quarter, look here.

California public schools are getting an additional financial boost this month with the release of the state’s first $20 Scratchers game called $5 Million Jackpot! This blue and gold beauty is big – literally! Not only does the jumbo-sized ticket offer the best overall Scratchers odds to win a prize – players have the opportunity to walk away with the largest lump sum prize any of our popular Scratchers have ever paid out ($5 million in cash!). No annual payments!

During its first full week of sales at over 20,000 retail locations, players purchased more than $17 million worth of tickets – well above anticipated sales goals. In fact, $5 Million Jackpot helped establish the single highest week of Scratchers sales on record in the Golden State ($66.9 million), breaking the previous mark set in 2011 ($65.7 million). “With the current economic downturn, we especially appreciate the California Lottery’s efforts in developing new funding vehicles for schools and our kids’ educations,” added Huang.

The road to taking home $5 million in cash is simple enough. To win, just match any of “YOUR NUMBERS” to any of the eight “WINNING NUMBERS” and win that prize. Uncover a “10X” multiplier symbol to automatically win 10 times that prize. Uncover a “20X” multiplier symbol and win 20 times that prize. Uncover a “Jackpot” symbol to win all 25 prizes automatically. Scratch off the three “Fast Spots” and uncover “50” to win $50, “100” to win $100, and “500” to win $500 instantly.

The winning doesn’t stop there – like all Lottery Scratchers games, the $5 Million Jackpot game comes with second chances to win the top prizes. Just subscribe to our 2nd Chance Program and submit any non-winning $5 Million Jackpot Scratchers ticket codes for another chance to win. (NOTE: Due to an upgrade in our computer system to accommodate the new and improved 2nd Chance Program, players will temporarily not be able to submit their non-winning $5 Million Jackpot ticket codes until October 14, 2013. So save your non-winning tickets and please check our 2nd Chance web page for more information.)

The mission of the California Lottery is to provide supplemental funding to California schools while simultaneously supporting local communities. More than 96 cents of every dollar spent by our players goes back to local communities in the form of contributions to public schools and colleges, prizes and retail compensation. The California Lottery urges its customers to play responsibly and within their budgets. If you feel you have a gambling problem, or know someone who does, you can get help at 1-800-GAMBLER.

See More Press Releases: October, 2013 | Lottery Performance |