Return to Transcripts main page
THE SITUATION ROOM
March Madness Gets Even Crazier; President Obama's Red Line
Aired March 25, 2013 - 18:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
LISA SYLVESTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: And, of course, she would rather talk about something else a little more of substance, like military families and getting kids to eat healthier -- Kate.
KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: All important topics, but people do like to talk about her fashion.
SYLVESTER: They do.
BOLDUAN: Lisa, thanks so much.
BOLDUAN: Happening now: families in pain over the killing of Colorado's prison chief. Stand by for the emotional words of his widow and the mother of his apparent killer.
JOE JOHNS, CNN ANCHOR: Conflicting reports about chemical wells used in Syria. Has President Obama's red line been crossed or not? The House Intelligence Committee joins us live.
And the most successful team you have never heard of, as March Madness gets even crazier.
JOHNS: Wolf Blitzer is off. I'm Joe Johns.
BOLDUAN: And I'm Kate Bolduan. Welcome to our viewers in the United States and around the world. You're in THE SITUATION ROOM.
JOHNS: Confirmation today that the gun used to kill Colorado's prison chief is the same gun found on the prime suspect who was killed in a shoot-out with Texas police.
BOLDUAN: Today, an emotional memorial service was held for the victim, Tom Clements. We got a window into his life, his family's grief, and the pain being felt by the parents of his apparent killer.
CNN's Casey Wian is in Colorado springs for us and has been following this emotional, emotional memorial.
CASEY WIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Kate, Joe. You know, it's a tragic irony in the death of Tom Clements. It became clear during the memorial today that he was likely killed by the very type of inmate he spent his career trying to help. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)
WIAN (voice-over): Slain Colorado prison director Tom Clements was remembered as a man committed to improving conditions for inmates by his pastor.
MATT HEARD, PASTOR: Tom Clements was a man worthy of honor, both in life and in death.
WIAN: His wife.
LISA CLEMENTS, WIDOW OF SLAIN PRISON CHIEF: Last Tuesday night, Tom and I were watching TV and our doorbell rang. And my life was forever changed.
WIAN: His boss.
GOV. JOHN HICKENLOOPER (D), COLORADO: He was, without question, one of the finest people I have ever worked with in anything I have ever done. And he believed that Colorado could be a model for the entire nation in how to reform our approach to corrections.
WIAN: Hickenlooper says he believes the killing was solely the work of 211 crew gang member Evan Ebel, who died last week in a shoot- out with Texas police. Ebel's father is a friend of the governor's.
HICKENLOOPER: Evan Ebel, who really was from the early age just had an anger and a cruelty. I mean, he was -- he just had a bad streak and they tried everything, I mean, again and again, from an early, early age, with no great success.
WIAN: Reverend Leon Kelly works with prison gangs, including former 211 crew members. He doubts speculation that the killing was related the Obama wider white supremacist gang conspiracy.
REV. LEON KELLY, ANTI-GANG ACTIVIST: In my theory, this kid here, who may have tried to find a sense of identity throughout, you know, the course of his life now unfortunate in the evil, senseless way he has found it.
WIAN: Saturday, Ebel's father said, "I am profoundly saddened by the recent events involving my son, Evan Ebel, and offer my most sincere condolences to all of those individuals and families who have suffered from his actions."
Ebel's mother wrote the death of Ebel's younger sister in a car crash was a turning point for her son. "He just became numb and lost his direction altogether. Between using drugs and committing crimes, he was soon put in prison for eight long years." She added years of solitary confinement took his toll.
"So, even he's depicted as depraved, evil, we know a different person who was loving, kind, thoughtful, generous and sensitive." Yet now he's suspected of killing Tom Clements, a champion of reducing solitary confinement for prisoners. CLEMENTS: He would want justice, certainly, but moreover, he would want forgiveness. Our family prays for the family of the man who took Tom's life.
WIAN: Should also point out that Ebel's also suspected prime suspect in taking the life of Nate Leon, a part-time Domino's deliveryman, a week ago Sunday, Joe.
JOHNS: Casey Wian, thanks for that.
We're joined on the phone now by Lieutenant Jeff Kramer, the spokesman for the El Paso County, Colorado, Sheriff's Office.
Lieutenant, I just want to start out with Casey reported there. The governor, Governor Hickenlooper, has said in his view there was only one person involved in this. Do you think there was a conspiracy or just one guy?
LT. JEFF KRAMER, EL PASO COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE: Well, at this point, those are some of the questions our investigators are certainly working very hard to answer.
It's appropriate for us at this point to make sure we gather all information from all sources to determine whether or not Mr. Ebel had acted alone or if others were involved, and if others were, what their role was and what Mr. Ebel's role was, if he was joined by others.
JOHNS: Mr. Ebel was said to be involved or formerly involved in some type of a white supremacist group. Do you think that might still play into the investigation or has it been ruled out?
KRAMER: Nothing has been ruled out at this point.
Obviously, for us in any investigation, once you have a suspect that's been named, you certainly do the best you can to learn as much as possible about them, who they associated with, and in this case, who he associated with inside the prison as well as outside. We haven't ruled anything out, and we're certainly searching for those kinds of answers as far as what the motive was in this particular case.
JOHNS: Were those past associations or current associations, or do you know?
KRAMER: Well, we're looking at all of those items to include who his associations would have been inside the prison and then since his release as well. But we will certainly go as far back as necessary to learn as much about this particular suspect so we can hopefully answer those questions.
JOHNS: Any information now on motive, why did he do this?
KRAMER: No, there's no information on motive right now. Of course, for our investigators, that is certainly a key question they would like to be able to answer. They are certainly working tirelessly to try to gain the information that would provide those answers.
But this could be a lengthy process. We would ask folks to be very patient because they need to do their due diligence and work very thoroughly, very methodically, so that we don't miss something along the way and can provide answers we're looking for with some level of accuracy at some point in the future.
JOHNS: Lieutenant Jeff Kramer with the El Paso County Sheriff's Office there in Colorado, thanks so much for that.
KRAMER: You're welcome.
BOLDUAN: Right now, millions of Americans from the Midwest to East Coast are slogging through snow and wondering when will it finally start to feel like spring. This is what it looked like earlier not far from here in the D.C. suburbs. People in a dozen states have been facing similar conditions, fun, but maybe not so fun for some.
JOHNS: President Obama is urging Congress to work up the political courage to pass immigration reform as soon as possible. He made the new appeal today at a ceremony where 28 immigrants took the oath to become American citizens; 13 of them are serving in the military.
The president says they are examples of why the U.S. needs to encourage immigration and fix the system once and for all.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Immigration makes us stronger. It keeps us vibrant. It keeps us hungry. It keeps us prosperous. It is part of what makes this such a dynamic country.
If we want to keep attracting the best and the brightest that the world has to offer, then we need to do a better job of welcoming them.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
JOHNS: Bipartisan groups in the House and Senate are moving closer to introducing separate immigration plans. The president says he wants to debate this beginning next month.
BOLDUAN: Still ahead, we're waiting for a decision on whether American Amanda Knox will be retried in Italy on sensational murder charges. Could she wind up back in jail? That's a good question.
And if you're a fan of the British royals, listen up. Prince Harry is coming to the U.S. and we have details on the trip ahead.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) BOLDUAN: The young American woman once dubbed Foxy Knoxy -- How can you forget that name? -- soon will find out if she will be tried for murder again.
JOHNS: Italy's highest court is getting ready to announce its decision on whether to throw out Amanda Knox's 2011 acquittal on charges that she and her boyfriend killed her roommate. She's been back in the U.S. since then trying to put her time in jail and her sensational trial behind her.
BOLDUAN: She's also trying to write a book, I hear.
Let's bring in our senior legal analyst, Jeffrey Toobin, for more on this.
JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: Putting it behind her, except for the seven-figure book deal that she has. The book comes out next month, anyway. But that's...
JOHNS: That's what you call a smooth landing.
TOOBIN: That's right.
BOLDUAN: So, this is -- it's really sensational to think this could be happening again. I mean, the worst-case scenario here for Amanda Knox is what? The supreme court decides to retry her. Is there any chance she's going to go back?
TOOBIN: I don't think so. I think this is mostly a theoretical exercise at this point. Italy is not going to attempt, and the United States will not extradite her for this crime.
Now, it is true that if the Italian courts order her to be retried, she may be well advised to stay out of the whole European Union, because they have much more reciprocity on these issues, but Amanda Knox is not going to trial again, she's not going back to prison. As a practical matter, this case is over.
JOHNS: It's very different here in the legal system in the United States, and we have to be careful not to disparage the Italian system, but we have double jeopardy here. And so if you're acquitted of something, you can't be tried again.
JOHNS: That doesn't appear to be quite the same in this case.
TOOBIN: No, but we have -- what we have is your conviction can be reversed by an appellate court and a subsequent appellant court can reverse that and you could be tried again. It's not that different, but there's so many things in the Italian system that are different. She's also been convicted of slander of the police.
TOOBIN: Essentially for inserting her innocence, arguing that she had been abused by the police. That's a criminal offense there. I don't think anyone here...
JOHNS: You could be locked up for slander.
TOOBIN: Exactly. She would be sentenced for that, again, not something that would happen here.
JOHNS: And here you just lose a lot of money.
TOOBIN: In theory, but not much.
BOLDUAN: You say for a practical matter, she's not going back, but in theory, because we don't know exactly how this will play out, Italy could ask to have Amanda Knox extradited. Are there laws in the U.S. to protect her from doing that? Or is she just not going to go, not leave the country?
TOOBIN: Well, the extradition process is one of the most slow, most cumbersome, most rarely enforced forms of law.
You know, there was a group of CIA agents that were charged in an Italian courtroom in connection with the treatment of the detainees. The United States has never made a move to extradite them. I think, you know, those laws are on the books, but in reality, there's not going to be any sort of attempt to get her out. She's home, she's going to stay home.
JOHNS: So 5:00 a.m. tomorrow, I guess, Eastern time, we will be watching to see what happens next with Amanda Knox.
BOLDUAN: The Italian supreme court decides.
TOOBIN: Really? you're going to be watching at 5:00?
BOLDUAN: I'm waking up.
JOHNS: I will be up because the Supreme Court is in session.
BOLDUAN: For a very different Supreme Court issue.
TOOBIN: I'm glad you're not on a lie detector when you said...
BOLDUAN: Thanks, Jeff.
TOOBIN: All right.
JOHNS: A woman who has endured the unthinkable, the violent deaths of two of her children, is speaking out on CNN tonight. Sherry West says her teenaged son was stabbed to death back in 2008 in New Jersey. Thursday in Georgia, her 13-month-old boy was shot in the face and killed during a robbery attempt.
Two Georgia teenagers are going to face murder charges in the baby's death; 17-year-old De'Marquise Elkins will be tried as an adult. Another boy who was first reported to be 14, but actually is 15, is being tried as a juvenile. His mother says he didn't do anything wrong.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BRENDA MOSES, MOTHER: My feelings go out to the mother and the baby and my baby. But they handled this wrong. They handled this investigation wrong. The truth is going to come out.
QUESTION: How did De'Marquise and the 14-year-old know each other?
MOSES: They don't know. They don't know of each other.
QUESTION: Are they in gangs?
MOSES: No, they're not. My son is walking one way and see -- he's like a...
(END VIDEO CLIP)
JOHNS: As we mentioned, the baby's mother, Sherry West, will be telling her story tonight at 9:00 Eastern on CNN's "PIERS MORGAN" live.
BOLDUAN: Still ahead, in just a minute, we will explain why what's happening on a small island affected the stocks in our retirement accounts today. And we will also hear from the owner of the store that sold the winning ticket in the $338 million Powerball lottery.
JOHNS: A top Republican says President Obama must take action in Syria as the war spirals. And there are conflicting reports about chemical weapons used. House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers joins us coming up next. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
BOLDUAN: Happening now: growing fears of a total meltdown in Syria's civil war and the pressure on President Obama to take action.
JOHNS: Prince Harry is ready to come back to the U.S., despite a scandal during his last visit. We're going to have details.
BOLDUAN: And no one predicted they'd go this far in the NCAA Tournament at all. In fact, a lot of people had never even heard of them.
JOHNS: Wolf Blitzer is off. I'm Joe Johns.
BOLDUAN: And I'm Kate Bolduan. You're in THE SITUATION ROOM.
JOHNS: Right now, the violence in Syria is getting so bad that the United Nations is pulling its international staffers out of the country for a while. There was shelling right near the hotel where they live.
BOLDUAN: And here in the U.S., the debate is raging on over how to respond to allegations of chemical weapons being used in Syria and what it means for opposition forces.
Let's bring in our foreign affairs correspondent, Jill Dougherty, for more on this.
JILL DOUGHERTY, CNN FOREIGN AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Kate.
Well, the Syrian opposition once again is running into more problems in its attempts to unity. Now, the administration is downplaying that, but that is just fueling calls for the U.S. to do more to help.
DOUGHERTY (voice-over): Confusing reports persist that chemical weapons of some kind have been used in Syria. President Obama says that would be a red line. But administration critics charge that red line is turning pink.
REP. MIKE ROGERS (R-MI), CHAIR, HOUSE INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE: The president went to the Middle East and said, this is a hard decision. If I go in, it might be wrong. If I don't go in, it might be wrong. Indecision in this case is dangerous to the United States.
DOUGHERTY: No one wants American boots on the ground, but Rogers and others want the Obama administration to train and equip Syrian opposition fighters it trusts.
And "The New York Times" reports the CIA is stepping up efforts to help Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Turkey get weapons to the opposition. But the political wing of the opposition is in disarray. Its president, Moaz al-Khatib, who stood side by side with Secretary of State John Kerry just three weeks ago, abruptly resigned.
JOHN KERRY, SECRETARY OF STATE: It's not about one person. It's about President Assad. It's about a regime that is killing its own people. It's about an opposition that is bigger than one person, and that opposition will continue.
DOUGHERTY: And the split between the opposition civilian leaders and its fighters is growing. The rebels rejecting a new provisional prime minister. One expert on Syria says the country now is headed for a complete meltdown if the Obama administration doesn't stop hedging its bets.
ANDREW TABLER, THE WASHINGTON INSTITUTE: We waited. It didn't get any better. President Assad is not stepping aside, and the opposition is becoming more extremist, because they're the ones who are receiving the political support and the arms.
DOUGHERTY: And ironically, this lack of unity among the opposition is only reinforcing the administration's belief that it should be cautious in what kind of help and assistance it provides the opposition -- Kate.
BOLDUAN: Jill Dougherty, thanks so much, Jill.
You heard from the House Intelligence Committee chairman in Jill's piece, Mike Rogers, in Jill's report. The Michigan Republican is joining me now live from Lansing, Michigan, for more on this.
Mr. Chairman, thanks so much for taking the time.
ROGERS: Thanks, Kate, great to hear you.
BOLDUAN: This is such an important issue, specifically on the issue of the chemical weapons. I mean, there's been a lot of back and forth over the last week. U.S. officials, they say that their intelligence is telling them at the moment that they -- does not indicate that chemical weapons have been used recently by the regime, but you continue to disagree.
And you said it was abundantly clear, in your view, that the red line that President Obama has set has been crossed in terms of chemical weapons. What's the discrepancy?
ROGERS: Well, if you look at the body of intelligence, Kate, over the last two years, it is the evidence is mounting, and so when the president said August 20th of last year, that if they were going to move chemical weapons or use them, that would change his calculus.
And here's the problem that presents itself now, I think, for the president of the United States and our national security moving forward. Syria is deteriorating badly. We have a growing and mounting amount of evidence that says chemical weapons were used at least at some point by the Assad regime in some quantity. And so we have 70,000 dead. It's deteriorating. It's now spilling over by way of refugees into Jordan and Turkey. And now you have al Qaeda elements, the al-Nusra Front knocking on the door on the southern area near Israel. This is a catastrophe, if we let this deteriorate without some U.S. leadership rallying the opposition and regaining the trust with our Arab League allies.
All of that has to happen, and all of it needs to happen soon, because there's a real consequence, Kate. If the chemical weapons fall into the wrong hands or the conventional weapons fall in the wrong hands, you can imagine what kind of trouble across the Levant, the Middle East, southern Europe, across northern Africa. This has huge consequences.
BOLDUAN: It does have huge consequences.
ROGERS: Doing nothing isn't going to work.
BOLDUAN: Doing nothing...
ROGERS: Go ahead. I'm sorry.
BOLDUAN: No, of course. Doing nothing may not work, but it is important, I want to clarify on this point, this red line, the use of chemical weapons. The president has said that that is his red line if they do use chemical weapons. You've said that you think it's abundantly clear that they've already crossed the red line.
So are you suggesting that the White House is lying on this issue or is dragging its feet for some reason?
ROGERS: No, I mean, I would never say that the White House is lying. Intelligence is never as clear as we would all like it to be, but you can't look at the most recent incident or -- every, about every week the opposition has been claiming that there's use of chemical weapons, so there's lots of instances you need to mitigate and say, "I just don't think that happened."
If you look at the total of evidence over the last two years, and the evidence is mounting -- I look at this as an old FBI agent, and so when you look at all of the evidence, how it's mounting, I believe after looking at all of that evidence, Kate, that over the last two years they have configured chemical weapons in a position to use them; they have shown intent to use them; and I do believe that a small quantity, at least a small quantity of chemical weapons has been used.
It shouldn't take chemical weapon usage to get the United States to stop a humanitarian crisis of this epic proportion that actually has national security implications for the United States.
I get it's a hard decision. President said that when he went to the Middle East, but this is dangerous if we don't get this right. And think of this: the opposition told the United States secretary of state they weren't interested in a meeting. That tells you how far our credibility has fallen with people who are on the ground doing the fighting. Our Arab League partners, who I meet with constantly, are incredibly frustrated.
I believe that there's a diplomatic solution, but you can't have that unless you gain the credibility of the opposition and you gain the credibility of our Arab League allies, and then you can move to a position of negotiation. That's the reason they rejected the prime minister. They're rejecting the political fight, they being the opposition, because it is so confusing to them. They're engaged in the fight on the ground. They don't think anyone is helping them.
BOLDUAN: But it also seems confusing on the part of the U.S. and its allies on who they're actually dealing with. I mean, you're talking about the U.S. is dangerous in its indecision, but isn't it so important that they get all the facts, we get all the facts right first before you move in on the issue of chemical weapons and also on the issue of who exactly you're dealing with in terms of the rebels, i.e., look what happened in Iraq.
ROGERS: Oh, but, you know, clearly this is different. You have 70,000 dead. They've used some 100 SCUD missiles. The international community, the opposition, even the Syrian government acknowledges they have chemical weapons. As a matter of fact, in this last event, they were both exchanging accusations about who used chemical weapon. And so this is a very different picture.
Now again, there's a step further in this. That would create a catastrophic humanitarian event that I think would be a stain on our national character if we had the capability to stop it and didn't.
But now you have the notion of our own national security being threatened by all of these chemical weapons. You have thousands now of al Qaeda fighters joining the fight here and Hezbollah. You have chemical weapons at stake and you have conventional weapons at stake. We'd better do something pretty quickly. And we're one of the few nations that has the capability to vet, train, and equip people, not -- this is not about the 101st Airborne Division going into Syria, anything close to that.
It's about small groups, special capabilities, so that you leverage our credibility so we can get a diplomatic solution and secure those weapons systems. That's a good day for America, but you have to make the decision to move forward.
And again, I think indecision here at this point, given the way we see what's happening on the ground, is dangerous for our national security.
BOLDUAN: And worth pointing out again, some 70,000 people have been killed as this fight has continued on.
BOLDUAN: Chairman Rogers, it's great to see you. Thank you so much. We'll continue talking about this very important issue.
ROGERS: Thanks. Thanks, Kate, and welcome back. JOHNS: The last time Prince Harry visited the U.S., he ended up needing to explain some scandalous nude pictures taken in Las Vegas. Well, he's just scheduled another U.S. visit. Find out where he is and isn't going. Coming up next.
BOLDUAN: Some Americans, I'd argue many Americans, just can't get enough of the British royals.
JOHNS: You know who you are, so get out your calendars. Prince Harry is -- yes, right. Prince Harry is coming to America between May 9 and the 15th with stops here in Washington, D.C., also in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Colorado.
CNN's royal correspondent, Max Foster, joins us from London now. Now, we remember the last time Harry was here, it all sort of turned into a scandal. What are you expecting this time?
MAX FOSTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, you could say that. He went to Vegas, took all his clothes off, the photos published everywhere. He got a bit angry about it: invasion of privacy, he said. Not much sympathy for him in many parts of the world.
He's coming back, his official tour. We're told he's going to be on best behavior, but he does start off where you are in D.C. And he's going to be traveling around the U.S., mainly the East Coast.
Some of the main things he'll be doing, the highlights, if you'd like, going to Arlington National Cemetery, laying a wreath there. The Warrior Games, this is a sort of games for injured servicemen. He's really interested in war veterans, supporting them and their cause. So that's going to be a big part of his trip.
Also going to an area in New Jersey affected by Hurricane Sandy. And there will be lots of sort of glamorous events, as well. Apparently, he's going to be meeting some U.S. Olympians and some high-profile politicians in Washington. So maybe he'll be meeting you two, as well. I'm sure you've been invited to these events.
JOHNS: Absolutely. But do you think he'll be meeting President Obama? That's, obviously, the key question when you come to Washington, D.C.
FOSTER: Well, they left that open, actually. Because they said there is an opening for that, but it's obviously going to be led by the White House, and they haven't had any confirmation from them. But yes, I think he's quite keen to meet the Obamas and some senior politicians he'll certainly be meeting, but we'll wait to see. There is that option there if the Obamas want to take it up.
JOHNS: Stay tuned and watch the schedule.
You have any updates on Kate's baby? Very important.
FOSTER: She's still pregnant. I can say that. And all the talk is about whether it's a boy or a girl. And she was out the other day, saying that she wanted a boy and William wanted a girl. So that's as close as we've got. Palace saying that they haven't been told yet.
But there is a frenzy around it, and it's due in July and all sorts of media preparing for that event. Although there's been very little information about it. But the world seems very interested. So the world's eyes in July on London, but in May the royal watchers will be watching where you are.
JOHNS: Max Foster, thanks so much for that, and we'll be watching you.
BOLDUAN: Big news on the baby bump in London, but the biggest mystery here in this country today is coming up next. Just who is the lucky winner of the Powerball lottery and the nation's newest multimillionaire?
BOLDUAN: Now to the mystery of the new multimillionaire.
JOHNS: We know that someone bought a winning Powerball ticket in New Jersey worth $338 million, but so far no one's claimed the jackpot from Saturday night's drawing.
BOLDUAN: Our new CNN correspondent, Pamela Brown, is at the New Jersey liquor store where the ticket was sold. First of all, most importantly, welcome to THE SITUATION ROOM, Pamela, and also tell us what's the latest on the ticket.
PAMELA BROWN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Thank you.
Well, Kate, the town of Passaic has been buzzing all day long after we learned that the fourth largest Powerball winner on record bought the winning ticket right behind me at Eagle Liquors. Speculation has been swirling about who that winner is, and the mystery may be solved.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All right, now, for tonight's winning Powerball number, remember, match this number, and of course, you're always a winner. Tonight it is 31.
BROWN (voice-over): There is one lucky winner of the $338 million Powerball jackpot, but who that is remains a mystery.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Everybody's saying, "Is it you or is it you? You sure it wasn't you?" It's almost like a cat and mouse game. Everybody, you know, everybody coming together, smiling, trying to figure out who it is.
BROWN: Whoever it is bought the winning ticket here at Eagle Liquors in Passaic, New Jersey. Could it be this man? Pedro Quezada caused a frenzy at the store where the winning ticket was sold. The father of five, who lives in a largely Latino community of Passaic, claims that he hit the jackpot, but he didn't have the ticket with him to prove it. As the media mob followed Quezada, he ran off.
SUNIL SETHI, OWNER, EAGLE LIQUORS: We sell a lot of tickets.
BROWN: Eagle Liquors owner, Sunil Sethi has sold winning tickets before, but never a jackpot as big as this.
SETHI: This one's the biggest ever. Like a dream ticket, you want to sell it as a store owner, and we did that.
BROWN: With no Powerball winner in more than a month, the jackpot grew to the fourth largest in history leading up to Saturday night's drawing. When the multimillion-dollar winner does step forward, it will be into a bright spotlight.
CAROLE HEDINGER, NEW JERSEY LOTTERY: There's no anonymity for any winner in New Jersey at this time. Winner information is public information.
BROWN: Winning the lottery, however, doesn't always mean a grand future. Last year in Illinois after winning a scratch-off game, Urooj Khan was found dead, killed by cyanide poisoning, according to authorities.
SUSAN BRADLEY, SUDDEN MONEY INSTITUTE: It's like being shot out of a cannon. One lottery winner told me it was like being shot out of a cannon from a quiet little suburban town to the middle of Times Square and not being able to go home again.
BROWN: A spokeswoman for the New Jersey lottery says officials are aware of Quezada but as of now, he has not come forward to claim the prize.
BROWN: And the owner of Eagle Liquors tells CNN that Quezada actually did bring his ticket in earlier today for verification, and right here, this is the receipt of the winning ticket verification given to us by the owner of Eagle Liquors.
We have reached out to the New Jersey Lottery Commission. So far the commission is saying that a ticket has been verified, but it is staying tight-lipped about who the winner is. So we're still waiting for that information.
Back to you.
BOLDUAN: So what -- so what are we waiting for next? A new press conference? Are we going to see him walk back in the store again? We've got to find out who this winner is.
BROWN: That's right. I mean, there are still a lot of unanswered questions here. Because, of course, we don't have confirmation that it is Pedro Quezada, according to the New Jersey -- New Jersey Lottery Commission.
So I think the next step is that he would come forward to the lottery commission, presumably tomorrow, with the winning ticket, claim his prize, and from there press conference and promotions and so forth will follow.
BOLDUAN: And his whole life or whoever's life it is will be changed forever. You can definitely say that.
Pamela Brown, thank you. Welcome again.
BROWN: That's for certain. Thank you.
BOLDUAN: Thanks so much.
More than 60 years since the start of the Korean War, there are growing worries about a new military conflict. CNN's Erin Burnett is going "OUTFRONT" on this story at the top of the hour. What are you looking at, Erin?
ERIN BURNETT, CNN ANCHOR: OK. We're going to be looking at what the U.S. government is doing. A new military preparedness plan that could really be dramatically lowering the bar for what it would take for the U.S. to be going to war on the Korean Peninsula.
Plus one family's very personal story on gay marriage. Completely tearing this family apart. It's an incredible story, by our Kyung Lah.
And our essay tonight: why has America not gotten a panda in ten years and Canada got two today? It's a pretty incredible story. We have all that coming up at the top of the hour.
Back to you.
BOLDUAN: Did I hear you say "panda"? Like a panda bear?
BURNETT: They got two bears today in Canada. And we haven't gotten a new bear in ten years from China.
BOLDUAN: What's wrong with us? I really want to know the answer to this question now, Erin. All right. We'll be watching at the top of the hour.
BURNETT: OK, Kate.
BOLDUAN: Thanks so much.
The whole country is buzzing about a big sports story today. We're talking -- we're taking you to the campus of the No. 15 seed that just made it to the sweet 16 for the very first time.
BOLDUAN: They're the one school no one predicted would get this far. Florida Gulf Coast entered the Sweet 16 of the NCAA tournament after beating San Diego State and Georgetown over the weekend.
If you're among those asking "Florida Gulf Coast who? Who is that? Who is that?" Then this story is just for you.
JOHNS: Yes, but not for me. The university is located on the Ft. Myers -- on the state's southwest coast, an unlikely setting for a college basketball Cinderella story. CNN's George Howell is there.
And I know they're whooping it up now.
GEORGE HOWELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You know, Joe, they're just wrapping up a pep rally here. And we're all just learning about this school.
For instance, this is the funny thing. When you look out here, you would never imagine, you'd never guess that this university is really surrounded by what is more of a retirement community. Ft. Myers not exactly the college town. But look, there are a lot students who are excited about what's happening. And really, a mix of all ages as people are excited to see this team make a big name for this school that was otherwise little-known.
HOWELL (voice-over): A 15-seeded team in the NCAA basketball tournament, advancing to the Sweet 16, they defied the odds. But even with all the media hype and cameras rolling, these players still keep it loose on the court at a school most of the country had never heard of. Even one of the team's star player admits...
(on camera): Before you got the offer to come here and play, had you heard of FGCU?
SHERWOOD BROWN, FGCU BASKETBALL PLAYER: To be honest, I had never even heard of it. I was going to school in Orlando at the time. I'd never even heard of Florida Gulf Coast.
HOWELL: But now Florida Gulf Coast University is on the radar, and everybody is talking about them.
DAVID MOULTON, SPORTS COLUMNIST, "NAPLES DAILY NEWS": A lot of people in southwest Florida hadn't followed this school until Friday night. We are a region of people from everywhere else in the country. And nothing unites us except the potential hurricane. And now we have something to unite us.
HOWELL: Since defeating second seeded Georgetown in their first ever NCAA tournament game, then going on to beat San Diego State, the FGCU Eagles surprised everyone.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Everybody is so excited to see their little small town and their community of Ft. Myers be getting so much, you know, national attention.
HOWELL: Officials say sales at the school's bookstore shot up by 1,000 percent this weekend, with fans of all ages buying up T-shirts and team merchandise.
There's even a new rap song, renaming this school and Ft. Myers, Florida, for that matter, as Dunk City.
And then there's the story about the team's coach, a self-made millionaire. Andy Enfield left it all to coach basketball.
ANDY ENFIELD, FGCU COACH: We're up tempo on offense. We play tough defense like Florida State did when I was there.
HOWELL: A lot of attention has not only gone to Enfield and his team but also his wife, Amanda Markham, a former model who appeared on the cover of "Maxim" magazine, to name a few. And this underdog story of his team is playing out on the tenth anniversary of the weekend Enfield met his wife.
ENFIELD: She's an Oklahoma state fan. She's from Oklahoma City. And we went to Boston. I drove her and her friend from New York City to Boston to go to the Oklahoma State first and second round. And when I picked her up in the car, I didn't know her at the time. But I knew as soon as she got in my car it will be a great trip to Boston.
HOWELL: Enfield eventually won her over, and now his team is winning the hearts of fans who've never heard of this school.
HOWELL: So the first 15-seeded team to make it to the Sweet 16, look, it's a big deal out here. All eyes right now are on what happens Friday as this team takes on Florida -- Joe, Kate.
BOLDUAN: All right. Everybody loves a Cinderella story. But it's blowing up everybody's bracket at the same time.
BOLDUAN: All right. George, thanks so much.
That's it for us. Thanks so much. We'll see you tomorrow. "ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT" starts right now.