California now has its first Powerball winner! Carlo Mitchell claimed the $213 million jackpot that was drawn on October 23.
Carlo’s wife, Erlinda Mitchell, always thought that purchasing the Powerball tickets was a waste of money and that her husband could spend that money on better things. However, when Carlo found out that he had matched all six numbers, including the Powerball, she had a change of heart. “I’m glad he didn’t listen to me,” 66-year-old, Erlinda said.
Carlo had been playing the Powerball for years, but had never hit the jackpot, or even came close to doing so. He purchased his tickets twice a week, for both drawings, at the Fast ‘N Easy store in east-central Fresno. Carlo was waiting at a nearby hospital for an X-ray when the Powerball numbers, 03-23-31-34-47 and 13, were drawn. He wasn’t sure if he was hearing what he thought he was hearing…his numbers being drawn. “I had a pretty good suspicion, but I didn’t say anything,” Carlo said. “I just kept saying anything is possible.”
Carlo waited until the next day to tell Erlinda that they were multimillionaires. She happened to be waiting outside for a furniture delivery when Carlo came out to tell her they had won. She couldn’t contain her excitement. “I fainted, I blacked out right there on the new couch,” she said. “I just couldn’t believe it.”
A news conference was originally scheduled for Monday night in Sacramento. However, Carlo and his wife decided to cancel it, and held a conference at their home on Wednesday night. “I needed to get a basis to what I was going to do with that kind of money,” Carlo said. “It takes time.”
“The winner didn’t want a press conference,” lottery spokesman, Elias Dominguez, said. “More often than not, winners don’t do press conferences. When they have more time to think about it, they don’t want to do it, but we were all set to go.”
The couple decided to take their winnings in one lump sum that equaled $123.4 million after taxes. They both said that they have always lived a simple life, which is why they did not allow pictures at the news conference, and want to do everything they can to continue living their lives that way. They plan to help their family, friends, and their church with their winnings. Even though they say they do not want to purchase a new home, and will continue to live in Fresno, they did say they might buy a couple vacation homes.
Carlo said his win will not change his weekly routine. He will continue to buy his tickets from the Fast ‘N Easy store with hopes of one day winning again. “Hey,” he said, “if I can set a new record, why not?”
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