A Colorado man is the first big tourist winner at a Nome gold mine that this year opened its operation to visitors for the first time. Wielding a metal detector, Joe Fortunato of Colorado found several nuggets June 26, including one weighing 4.5 ounces, at the AKau Gold and Resort near Anvil Creek, reports the Nome Nugget (via Alaska Native News).
Fortunato has been dreaming of coming to Alaska to prospect all his life. He said, this was his first trip to Nome and he'll likely be coming back, next time with his wife. "I will treasure this forever," he said. At 65, he is still working at his business manufacturing machine parts for spray-painting equipment and computers. He said the three nuggets would be his forever. "No way, I'm gonna sell them. They'll be in a glass case on top of my mantelpiece for me to look at," he said with a big smile.