Wisconsin Powerball Winner Surprises Suburban Mom With $200 Gift Card On Mother's Day

The Franklin Park mom says there needs to be more Manuel Franco’s in the world. 

Mike Krauser
May 16, 2019 - 1:42 pm
Nicole Domitro and Manuel Franco

Photo courtesy of Nicole Domitro


CHICAGO (WBBMNEWSRADIO) -- A Franklin Park woman said everyone needs to hear about her experience at Target.  

Nicole Domitro was at a Target store with her 3-month-old daughter on Mother's Day. They were in the baby aisle when a man approached, someone who she said looked like a teenager.   

Domitro said her guard went up immediately.  

"You kind of are on alert whenever someone is approaching you - in the baby aisle, with no kids," she said.

The man identified himself as Manuel Franco. His cousin was with him and showed Domitro a picture of the 24-year-old from when he claimed the $768-million Powerball Jackpot prize. 

Manuel Franco of West Allis, Wis., winner of second-highest Powerball lottery in history, attends a news conference at the Wisconsin Department of Revenue in Madison, Wis.
John Hart/Wisconsin State Journal via AP

He wanted to give her a $200 gift card.

"I was like are you kidding me? Is this real? I thought I was on a skit for a show - I was like maybe Ellen is hiding around here," Domitro said.

Franco told her he once worked in a Target and said he had to get out of Milwaukee because of all the people approaching him.  He said his parents were living in hotels. Domitro said she gratefully accepted the gift and he thanked her. The two took a picture together that she later posted online.

She said he told her he tried to give a gift card to someone else, and they refused it, suspecting something was fishy. 

Domitro later Googled him and said it was definitely the same guy who won the Powerball jackpot.  

She said there should be more Manuel Franco’s in the world.