The local winners of that $213 million Powerball jackpot can now cross press conference off their list of things to do.
Carl and Lulu Mitchell made their first public appearance in Fresno Wednesday. They met with the media to discuss how they feel and what the future holds now that they are multi-millionaires.
The husband and wife of 27 years wanted to keep their faces off camera, but were more than happy to show off their giant check.
Reporter: “Is it a burden or a blessing?”
“We don't know at this point. We'll find out,” said Carl Mitchell, Powerball winner.
Carl spoke about why it took nearly two weeks to claim their prize.
“It takes time to meet with lawyers, accountants and financial planners you trust,” said Carl.
Carl has played the lottery on a regular basis the last two years. He would spend $96 a month on Super Lotto, Powerball, and Mega Millions. He purchased three lines for each game and chose his same lucky numbers.
“I would tell him once a week he's wasting his money,” said Lulu Mitchell, Powerball winner.
There was a report that Lulu passed out when she heard they won, but Carl says that's not true. However, she did fall into a deep blank stare.
“That lasted about 5 minutes,” said Carl.
Carl, 68, is a Vietnam veteran and retired nuclear medicine technologist at Saint Agnes Medical Center. Lulu, 66, was a registered nurse at Clovis Community until retiring five months ago.
Now as multi-millionaires life is busy again as they are receiving lots of phone calls from strangers.
“From financial planners, real estate people wondering can I help you? Can I be your friend and help you spend some of that money?” said Carl.
But too bad for them, the Mitchells already have their list picked out.
“The church is first in line and then the kids and grandkids,” said Carl.
The two say they were content with their lives in Fresno before the money and don't have any big changes in store.
“Right now we live a simple lifestyle and we plan to keep living that lifestyle,” said Lulu.
“We really have no plans of going any place else. This is home,” said Carl.
The Mitchells are taking the one time lump sum payment. They must pay out $90 million in taxes to do so, but they are still walking away with $123 million.
Believe it or not, Carl plans to continue playing the lotto. He says it's not about the money. It's about beating the odds again and possible setting a record for doing so.
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