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Press release

November 3, 2001

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November, 2001 | Winners Stories



SACRAMENTO -- California Lottery's "The Big Spin®" show airs Saturday, November 3, 2001, in twelve television markets statewide. Contestants on this week's show won a total of $360,000.

The first finalist on the California Gold game this week was Rene Hernandez, a student from Bell who won $40,000 at the Big Spin wheel. Hernandez has only bought one Lottery ticket in his life and that one ticket got him to the show and also to the wheel. Hernandez plans to save his prize for his own college education. He is studying to be an engineer. The second finalist on the California Gold game was Sara Tesfaye, a CSU employee from Los Angeles who won $100,000. Tesfaye plans on buying a house and sending her daughter to college with her prize. California Gold is another way to get to the wheel on "The Big Spin". 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.

Fantasy 5 contestants won a total of $175,000 on this week's show. First up was Earlene Shakelford, a code enforcement officer from Anaheim who won $$90,000. Shakelford only needed three of the five balls to win her prize, which she planned to use to completely remodel her house. Next up was Sam Kesserwani, a car salesman from Redwood City who won $85,000. Kesserwani was asked what he planned to do with his prize and he replied, "I have always wanted to buy my mom a house and hopefully, this will be a down payment." At the Fantasy 5 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 52.7 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 Spin®" is the longest running Lottery game show in the country, airing continuously since 1985.

Sara Tesfaye Los Angeles $100,000
Earlene Shakelford Anaheim $90,000
Sam Kesserwani Redwood City $85,000
Rene Hernandez Bell $40,000
Other California Gold Contestants   $45,000
  TOTAL $360,000
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See More Press Releases: November, 2001 | Winners Stories |