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USA: Coca-Cola Pops the Top on Country's two Newest Millionaires

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Dreams can come true -- just ask Allen Aultman of Fresno, Calif. and Pearl Wade of Memphis, Tenn. Aultman and Wade have a million reasons to smile after cashing in on the reward of a lifetime in Coca-Cola's Summer 2000 promotion. By simply popping the top of a special "pop-top" can of Coca-Cola classic, Aultman, 27, and Wade, 52, became the promotion's first two $1 million grand-prize winners -- no questions asked and no final answers needed.

To mark the occasion, Coca-Cola gave Aultman and Wade the "million dollar" treatment today -- complete with red carpet, limousine service and a first-class celebration. The World of Coca-Cola in Atlanta was the stage as Aultman and Wade re-created their "million dollar moments" and accepted their prizes.

With spectators looking on and armed security guards protecting $1 million cash stacked around them, Aultman and Wade opened special "pop-top" cans of Coca-Cola classic revealing replicas of the winning disks to the audience. While the crowd cheered, balloons, confetti and money showered down upon Aultman and Wade, who were then presented with commemorative $1 million checks by Coca-Cola executives.

"I was stunned when I opened the can. I had seen the commercials, but it didn't sink in because I was so shocked," said Aultman, who purchased the winning can at a Save Mart in nearby Tulare, Calif. "I'm going to buy my mom a new home and I'll probably also buy some fun things for myself, like a truck, jet ski and maybe a motor home so I can visit my grandmother in Arkansas."

"I opened the can two days before my birthday. What a fantastic gift," said Wade. "I carried the winning game piece around for a week before I had it verified. I couldn't believe it was real."

"We are thrilled to award Allen and Pearl with the first two $1 million grand prizes," said Ralph Cooper, president, Coca-Cola North America Group. "Our Summer 2000 promotion has created a tremendous amount of excitement and with more $1 million winners yet to be found, and thousands of other prizes available, the fun is just getting started."

These are the first two $1 million grand prizes Coca-Cola will be giving away through its Summer 2000 promotion. The $1 million prizes are awarded via a 25-year annuity. Other prizes include thousands of cash giveaways, once-in-a-lifetime experiences with Universal Studios and Universal Music and free Coca-Cola.

"Pop-top" cans -- real cans of Coca-Cola with hidden compartments that hold winning game pieces and are virtually indistinguishable from other cans -- are randomly inserted in specially marked 12-, 18-, 20- and 24-can multi-packs of Coca-Cola classic and caffeine free Coca-Cola classic. People also can win these exciting prizes by looking behind the label of specially marked 20-ounce, 1-liter, 2-liter, and 3-liter bottles of Coca-Cola classic and caffeine-free Coca-Cola classic. The promotion ends July 31, 2000.

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