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Press release

January 15, 2000

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January, 2000 | Supporting Education | Northern California

California contestants Win $192,500 - Ms. America Presents "Hero In Education" Award


SACRAMENTO -- California Lottery's "Big Spin® 2000" show airs Saturday, January 15, 2000 in twelve television markets statewide. Contestants on this week's show won a total of $192,500.

Tom Thompson, a volunteer parent at San Juan Unified School District in Sacramento was awarded California Lottery's "Hero In Education" award. Thompson has dedicated many hours of volunteer work in education as a PTA member and president; he has organized fund-raisers and school clean-up days and he's been involved in Santa's Secret Shop Program. Thompson actively promoted the San Juan Council Cloths Closet as well as maintained the shoe program through Payless Shoe Source. He is also known as a "Team Dad" to school athletes and is a member of Mesa Verde High school's Boosters' Club. Reigning Ms. America, Susan Jeske, presented Thompson with the "Hero In Education" award.

This week's show had big game action as Imogene Lenderman, a retired waitress from Clovis won $75,000 playing FantasyTM 5. The first ball dropped was for $20,000, the second $25,000 and the third ball landed Lenderman another $40,000 and she said "I think I'd better stay," making her total, on the FantasyTM 5 Dream Machine, $75,000. Lenderman plans to locate lost family members with the money she won. "I'm going to pay on my house and take my family on vacation," said this week's top California Gold winner, Jorge Amezcua. Amezcua, a maintenance foreman from North Highlands, won $50,000. Other California Gold contestants won a total of $45,000.

Contestants Ronald Fenske of Gilroy, and Brian Patterson of Sacramento rolled their way to riches playing the new High Roller game. Fenske, who is a construction worker said, "I'm going to take my wife on vacation and she's going to be the happiest woman in the world." Fenske won$15,000, and Patterson rolled his way to $5,000.

Nellie Vallejos, a homemaker from Duarte bought a Scratchers® with three "Spin" symbols on it. This won her a direct trip to Big Spin® 2000's largest prize wheel in the world where Vallejos won $25,000. Vellejos plans to help her children with her prize money.

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 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 $11 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.

Imogene Lenderman Clovis $75,000
Jorge Amezcua North Highlands $50,000
Nellie Vallejos Duarte $25,000
Ronald Fenske Gilroy $15,000
Brian Patterson Sacramento $5,000
Other California Gold Winners   $22,500
  TOTAL $192,500
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