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Press release

March 25, 2002

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March, 2002 | Winners Stories



SACRAMENTO -- California Lottery's "The Big Spinâ" show airs Saturday, March 23, 2002, in twelve television markets statewide. Contestants on this week's show win a total of $342,500 (without Graceland trips.)

Assemblymember Dario Frommer presented Lynn Santamaria with the California Lottery's Exceptional Educator Award. Assemblymember Frommer explains, "Ten years ago, Lynn helped establish the "Avid at Hoover" academic program, which is an elective class designed to prepare underrepresented students for four-year colleges and universities. Her Avid students begin the program as average academic performers. But through Lynn's guidance and the student's commitment to invest in an extra hour of learning each day, they quickly become top performers." The success rate at Hoover of sending its seniors to college is such that Hoover has become a model for other high schools interested in adopting this program. Frommer continued, "Lynn, because of your devotion to help students to achieve their goal of higher education, it is my privilege to proclaim you an Exceptional Educator."

When asked about the success rate of the Avid Program, Santamaria explained, "Eighty-seven percent of the Avid seniors go on to universities. We are definitely proud of our Avid students who commit themselves to qualify a better life for themselves."

The contestant that wins a chance to spin the prize wheel from the California Gold elimination round is Sherry Dumas, an office assistant for the Los Angeles School District from Reseda, who wins $75,000. "Anything I win is great because it is more than I came with," said Dumas. Dumas plans to possibly buy a house and help out family and friends with this prize. The second runner-up from this California Gold round is Joaquin Alvarado, a painter from Lodi, 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.

Fantasy 5 Dream Machine contestants win a total of $195,000 on this week's show. The first contestant appearing on this week's show is Jim Scanlon, an ATM service technician from San Francisco. Scanlon wins $60,000 and he plans to, "Take a vacation," with his prize. Next up at the Dream Machine is Herbert Riechert, a bridge master mechanic from San Francisco who wins $65,000. "I want to take a long vacation, maybe to Germany," explains Riechert after his win. The last contestant at the Dream Machine is Yumiko Pearlman, a store owner from Studio City who wins $70,000. "I am thinking of sending my mother-in-law on a long trip and I want to take a vacation myself to Japan." Pearlman's mother-in-law was in the audience and got very happy when she learned of her impending vacation. 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 only Spin-Spin-Spin contestant on this week's show is Agar Ani, a designer from Chula Vista who wins $50,000. Ani plans to buy a house and take a vacation with this prize. Ani bought a "Big Spin" Scratchersâ ticket which revealed three "SPIN" symbols on one ticket, that ticket entitled him to a direct trip to the prize wheel.

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 Spinâ" is the longest running Lottery game show in the country, airing continuously since 1985.


Sherry Dumas Reseda $75,000
Yumiko Pearlman Studio City $70,000
Herbert Riechert San Francisco $65,000
Jim Scanlon San Francisco $60,000
Agar Ani Chula Vista $50,000
Graceland Winners TBA $25,000
Other California Gold Contestants $22,500
TOTAL      $367,500

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