The Mitchell family is overjoyed, but they're concerned about all the attention, so they're keeping a low profile.
The blessing of a massive lottery win often gives way to the curse of the lottery, a fate Carl and Lulu Mitchell are hoping to avoid. The retired hospital workers claimed a $213 million jackpot Monday, but backed out of a press conference and decided to keep the secret as best they can. But they have shared the secret with a few close friends and family in the 12 days since the drawing.
"He kept saying do you love us? Do you love me?' and I said yeah, and I like you too and we were kidding about it and finally he told us. It was exciting, exciting," neighbor Kina Cortez said.
Kina Cortez says Carl Mitchell is calm, but also a prankster. He forced her to sit down to share the news, and then swore her to secrecy. She has known the Mitchells for more than 15 years and says she's not worried about the curse catching up to them.
"Carl is always laughing. He's a great guy. He's worked in the medical field for a long time, so he won't change. Neither will she," Cortez said.
Carl's not even changing his lottery habits. The 68-year-old handpicked his numbers has played them for years, and he's still playing them, buying tickets at the same chevron station where he bought the winning ticket. But sudden millions have ruined the lives of many winners.
The Mitchells waited almost two weeks to turn in their ticket, taking their time to make wise decisions.
"It's a lot of money. It's a lot of responsibility. So it's a good idea to seek some financial advice," Henry Hernandez with the California Lottery Commission said.
Mitchell's son told me god's obviously looking out for the family. The Mitchell family said the money won't change anyone in the family, it will just make it easier to pay bills.