SACRAMENTO — The California Lottery's grand prize--which now stands at $13.4 million--went unclaimed again this week as eight more "Big Spin" contestants spun for cash amounts a little less grand.
The progressive grand prize begins at $3 million and increases $65,000 every time a finalist spins and fails to hit one of the three "grand prize" slots on the wheel. Since March 22--the last time someone took home the $4.6-million grand prize--160 contestants have been unable to land the multimillion-dollar prize.
But the lottery did send home three happy $1-million prize winners from Southern California on Saturday, including a 41-year-old Alpine woman who works with a race car pit crew.
Cheryl Thomas, who wore a "Go Ahead, Make My Day" button given to her by a friend, said her son David, 15, will get half of her winnings because he made her buy five lottery tickets, one of which was the winning entry.
Plans for Prize Money
She said she has purchased "no more than $30 worth of tickets" since the lottery began Oct. 3.
Thomas owns a stained-glass company in San Diego, and also works with her husband Richard and her son as part of a pit crew at the race car track.
Her son will get a race car, and she and her husband will take a trip to Turtle Island off the coast of the Fiji Islands with her winnings, she said.
Thomas' million-dollar whirl was sandwiched between two other $1-million spins. June Victor, 57, an engineer clerk from Murrieta, and Delores Patterson, 22, a cosmetologist from Buttonwillow, were each swarmed by family members when the ball stuck in the $1-million slot. In fact, Victor's husband, Bill, was so thrilled that he kissed everyone on the stage, including the show's host, Geoff Edwards.
Patterson, who was married Feb. 14, will use part of her prize to pay for a honeymoon in the Virgin Islands.
Victor also plans to travel with her lottery winnings, but said she may be back for another try at the lottery wheel soon, because she purchased another "entry" ticket this week, qualifying her for the drawing for future "Big Spin" contestants.