The newest Powerball winner came forward to claim his prize Friday, but warned reporters to back off, saying he and his family, who will share the jackpot cash, plan no changes in their lives and want to remain in “obscurity.”
“We just want to fade away into obscurity,” said winner Christopher Centrella of Naples, Florida. “This too shall pass.”
Centrella, 39, is one member of a three-person group called FlaMass Family Lottery Joint Venture that claimed what was posted as a $148.8 million prize. His 72-year-old father Louis, of Daytona Beach, purchased the winning Powerball ticket at E’s Country Store in Golden Gate Estates, where employees said he came in frequently but never bought anything but lottery tickets.
They said that when he came into the store on April 24 to check his Powerball ticket, he made a joke about taking 35 years to get the numbers right.
The Centrellas took the Powerball jackpot as a single cash payment of $86,932,220
The third member of the Powerball winning joint venture was identified by lottery officials as Suzanne Centrella, 59, Christopher Centrella’s wife. But Christopher Centrella denied that she was a member of the group and refused to name the third person.
Despite declaring that, “a lot of people are going to be helped with this money, a lot, and that’s the honest to God’s truth,” Centrella struck a surly attitude, warning TV crews, reporters and other opportunity seekers not to mess with him or his family.
“We’re hardworking people and we just want to live our lives,” the Powerball winner said. “Nothing has changed. We’re the exact same people and we just want to be left alone.”
Centrella and his wife relocated to Naples from Boston, Massachusetts, 13 years ago, and he sported a Boston Red Sox T-shirt as he addressed the media for what he clearly hopes will be the last time. He has already cancelled his social media accounts, and the distinctive hot rod automobile he is known to drive around the local community will be mothballed, at least for the time being.
The Centrellas are the most recent Powerball winners. The Powerball numbers drawn Saturday night produced no jackpot winner, though four tickets matched the first five numbers but not the Powerball number.
Two of those tickets, sold in Louisiana and West Virginia, were purchased for $3, activating the Power Play option. That means they are worth $2 million each. The other two — another sold in West Virginia and one in Texas — will pay the standard $1 million second prize.
Overall, there were 402,505 winning tickets of the 13,471,275 sold for Saturday’s Powerball drawing, worth a total of $14,231,594 in cash prizes.
Is any of that cash yours? Check your Powerball ticket against these numbers, drawn at 10:59 pm in Tallahassee, Florida.
5 — 15 — 16 — 46 — 49 Powerball 26
Wednesday’s Powerball drawing will now carry a jackpot of $70 million, or $41.5 million if taken as a single cash payout.