Karen Bach, Director of Budget, Products and Communications of the Arizona Lottery, announces during a news conference that one of the winning tickets in the $579.9 million Powerball jackpot was purchased in Fountain Hills, Ariz.(Photo: Ross D. Franklin, AP)
Lottery officials in Missouri say they have a Powerball winner and
scheduled a press conference for midday Friday at a high school near the
convenience store that sold the ticket in the tiny town of Dearborn.
Lottery Chief Operations Officer Gary Gonder hasn't revealed any
details on who drew all six numbers for a share of the $587.5 million
But rumors abound that the winner is
52-year-old Mark Hill, who makes the claim on his Facebook page. The St.
Joseph News-Press and Fox 26 KNPN say Hill works for the Hillshire
Brands factory in St. Joseph. Dearborn, where only 496 residents live on
about two dozen blocks, is carved into farmland between Kansas City and
St. Joseph. The ticket was sold at a Trex Mart near I-29 just a few
miles west of town.
NBC News did not release a name until someone
is announced by Missouri Lottery officials. But friends and neighbors
of Hill and his family told the TODAY show they know the jackpot
winner are big sports fans who might have based their number picks on
the uniform numbers of great Kansas City Royals players.avid Troutman, who says is a former high school classmate of the
rumored winner, told TODAY's Savannah Guthrie, "He was just an
all-around good guy. He was into football, sports. I was on Facebook and
I saw that his wife had posted, 'Thank you God, we won the lottery.' Of
course everybody in town, all his friends, gave all thumbs up. It
couldn't have happened to a better guy."
Troutman described the
couple as sweethearts since their youth at North Platte High School --
the location of today's lottery officials press conference. The couple
has three adult children and a 6-year-old girl they adopted from China.
spread that he won so fast,'' Troutman said. "I heard that it was a
winner from Dearborn, and by the time I walked in the door my mom was on
the phone, and she said, 'He won. It was him.' Who knows what the
impact will be on Dearborn."
NBC News also interviewed a woman who
is the mother of the rumored winner. She described how her
daughter-in-law arrived with the thrilling news.
"She came by here and she was shaking when I opened the door,'' said the woman, whose name was not released publicly.
one source told NBC that the winning tickets numbers were computer
generated, they match up well with some Royals stars: George Brett (5);
Mark Gubicza (16); Bo Jackson (22); Dennis Leonard (29), Dan Quisenberry
(29); and Willie Wilson (6).
Kansas City's spring training home
also happens to be in Arizona, where lottery officials reported the
other winning ticket was sold. So far no Arizona winner has been
That may be because the ticket holder is taking the
advice from Arizona Lottery spokesman Karen Bach: "Be thoughtful and
make some plans. We recommend they seek out a financial adviser.''
the 4 Sons Food Store in Fountain Hills, Ariz., where the second
winning ticket was sold, has been the scene of a media frenzy. Fountain
Hills, northeast of Phoenix, is a scenic suburb nestled between
mountains and a Native American casino on the Valley's northeast fringe.
Seitz estimates 90-95 percent of his customers at the store are
Fountain Hills residents and he said that many of them are well-known to
The store's owners receive a $25,000 bonus for selling
the winning jackpot ticket. Co-owner Eric Seitz hinted it might go
toward contributions to charities or bigger Christmas bonuses for
employees might be good options
Seitz, the chain's general
manager, said he does not know who bought the winning ticket, but
lottery officials told him it was purchased within 36 hours of Tuesday
"It's fun. I'm happy someone won in Fountain
Hills and Arizona. It's a blast,'' he said. "It's good luck for
Arizona's side. Maybe it's turning around for us.''
Derwent of Fountain Hills, said she is happy for the winner, regardless
of who that might be, and hopes it is someone who could use the money.
think it's great. In these kind of times, especially around Christmas,
it's nice to see a little bit of Christmas magic,'' said Derwent, who
was busy working on Tuesday and did not buy a ticket.
Wednesday's winner in Arizona will have 60 days to chose between a 30-year annuity or a lump-sum cash payment.