Tuesday November 5 2013 â€“ California Lottery officials are breathing a sigh of relief today as the owner of the winning $213 million Powerball ticket has come forward to claim their prize, almost two weeks after the draw.
â€œ”We’ve been waiting for him to come in,” explained CA Lottery Commission supervisor Henry Hernandez. â€œWe thought maybe he lost his ticket or something!â€
As it turns out, 68-year-old Carlo Mitchell knew he was Californiaâ€™s first ever Powerball jackpot winner straight after the draw as he always plays the same numbers. Carlo, known as Carl to his friends, and his wife Erlinda, play the same three sets of numbers on Powerball, Mega Millions and the Super Lotto Plus every week. The couple told lottery officials that, despite their jackpot win, they have no intention of stopping their weekly games!
Meet the Winning Couple
Carl is a retired nuclear medicine technician and Erlinda is a retired nurse. They have been married for 27 years, have two grown-up children and have lived in the same neighbourhood in Fresno for 15 years. The couple told a few select neighbors and friends of their win a few days after finding out and swore them to secrecy until they decided when to claim their prize. Kina Cortez describes the moment she found out her best friends had become multi-millionaires.
â€œErlinda said, â€˜sit down we need to talk to youâ€™. I was like oh my God, what’s happened? I thought something bad had happened. It was good!â€ Kina laughed. She then jokingly asked to have her picture taken with them. â€œIâ€™ve never had a picture taken with a millionaire; or in this case, a multi, multi, multi-millionaire!â€
Despite the coupleâ€™s newfound fortune, friends are convinced that the money wonâ€™t change them as theyâ€™re â€œalready rich in their heartsâ€. Although the couple havenâ€™t yet decided what to do with their jackpot win â€“ which they chose to take as the lump sum cash option worth $123.3 million â€“ they have confirmed they will be making a sizeable donation to their church. They also intend to continue playing the lottery at the same Fast N Easy store which sold them the golden Powerball ticket.
The Mitchellâ€™s had been planning on attending a press conference held by the California Lottery yesterday afternoon, but got cold feet an hour before they were due to appear.
Elias Dominguez, a lottery spokesperson, said the Mitchellâ€™s were not required by law to attend a press conference as state law only stipulates that their names must be released.
LotteryWorld would like to wish the Mitchells all the best for the future.
In Other Lottery News
Tonightâ€™s Mega Millions jackpot is estimated at $99 million after rolling over for the ninth time at the weekend.