A retired nuclear medicine technician from Saint Agnes Medical Center was the winner of the $213 million Powerball jackpot, the California Lottery confirmed Monday.
Carlo Mitchell, 68, of Fresno, bought the ticket at the Fast 'N Easy store at Shields and Armstrong avenues, which is a short distance from his east-central Fresno home.
In a lump sum, the ticket is worth $123.3 million after taxes. He was the only winner in the Oct. 23 drawing that got all six numbers. He selected the numbers himself. The winning numbers were: 03-23-31-34-47. The bonus number was 13.
The numbers are a set of three numbers he plays each week for the three large lottery jackpot games, Super Lotto Plus, MegaMillions and Powerball, he told California Lottery officials in Sacramento on Monday.
He was in Sacramento to have his winning ticket verified. He and his wife arranged a news conference at 2 p.m., but less than an hour before the gathering, Mitchell opted out of the event.
Under state rules, the winner's name must be released, but a news conference is not required, said Elias Dominguez, a Lottery spokesman.
"The winner didn't want a press conference," 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."
A neighbor who described the couple as good friends said the Mitchells knew their identities were going to get publicly released, but they want to keep a low profile.
"They were expecting to be identified eventually, but they preferred to lay low," said Roger Fast. "It seems like it would be a lot of work to manage that kind of money."
Mitchell's wife Erlinda is a retired registered nurse from Saint Agnes. They have been married 27 years.
Erlinda Mitchell told Lottery officials Monday that she fainted when her husband told her they won.
The day after the drawing, the couple returned home from running errands. He went into the house to check the numbers while she stayed in the front yard to receive a furniture delivery. That was when her husband came out to tell her they had won.
"I fainted, I blacked out right there on the new couch," Erlinda Mitchell said. "I just couldn't believe it."
The Mitchells told lottery officials that they plan to donate to their church, help their family and possibly buy a vacation home on the coast.
They couple has two grown children, said neighbor, Kina Cortez.
Cortez said she learned about their winning ticket last week after returning home from a trip. The Mitchells have lived in the neighborhood for about 15 years, she said.
He told her that he bought one $2 ticket, which he did regularly.
"It's like being struck by lightning when there are no clouds," Cortez said. "He was so excited."
She described the Mitchells as "very good people," hard working and outgoing.
"I think they are overwhelmed right now," Cortez said. "I can't say what they are going to do, it's too soon."
Before they departed for Sacramento to confirm they were the Powerball winners, Cortez said she requested a snapshot with them.
"I've never taken a picture with a millionaire," she said. "In this case, a multi, multi, multi millionaire."
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