Mark and Cindy Hill hold a Powerball check with three of their four children, Jarod, left, Cody and six-year-old Jaiden in Dearborn, Mo.(Photo: Orlin Wagner, AP)
Mark Hill, 52, a Missouri mechanic, and his wife, Cindy, claimed
their share Friday of the record $587.5 million Powerball jackpot.
Missouri couple, who had been in and out of work the past two years,
randomly chose numbers through Quick Pick to win one of the richest
lottery prizes in U.S. history.
The Hills split the winnings with
another ticketholder who bought a ticket in Arizona. That person hadn't
come forward as of Friday afternoon.
Each ticketholder is
entitled to $294 million, which they can receive in a lump-sum cash
payout or in annual payouts over 30 years. Cindy Hill said they'll opt
for the lump-sum payout, which totals about $192 million before taxes.
still stunned by what's happened," Cindy Hill said at a news conference
Friday with Mark, their sons, Jason, Jared and Cody and daughter,
Jaden. "It's surreal. We haven't even thought about what to buy. I just
want to be back home and be back to normal."
Mark Hill said he
called his boss when he found out he had won to tell him he wasn't
coming back to work. The Hills have set up college funds for their
grandchildren, nephews and nieces and plan a few vacations. Jaden also
gets what she wanted for Christmas: a pony.
Cindy Hill initially
spoke for the family when they stepped into the limelight in the gym at
North Platte High School, where Mark and Cindy had once been high school
She said they're a hard-working family that "knows
the value of a dollar." Besides college funds and some travel, the
couple said they would support charities in the adoption field. Jaden
was adopted from China.
The family described their initial disbelief and delight.
Hill said she had just dropped off her daughter at school Thursday
morning when she climbed back into her car and checked the numbers on
her tickets. As the numbers lined up, she started to shake. But she
didn't have her glasses on, she recalled, as she re-enacted how she
squinted at a ticket and asked herself over and over, "Are those the
She called her husband, Mark, at home.
"I think I'm having a heart attack," she told him, after revealing they were lottery-winners.
next 24-hours have been a whirlwind of meetings with lottery officials,
hotel stays and Friday's press conference. The Hills stressed that the
deluge of money won't change the family.
"I hope we stay grounded," son Jason Hill said. "I hope we stay the great people we were yesterday and the day before."
money will help. The company Mark Hill worked for shut down two years
ago and he only recently found new employment. Cindy Hill has been
unemployed and missed a phone-in job interview Thursday in the
excitement of claiming the prize.
"t's been really tough," she said. "But we survived."
Hill said the family plans to stay in the same area to raise their
daughter and will not change their lifestyle much. They'll still go to
the corner café for breakfast and fish day and shop at the same stores.
"We're normal human beings," Cindy Smith said. "We just have a little bit more money."
The Hills will split the jackpot with another ticket holder - still unidentified - in Arizona
is a close-knit town of 496 residents carved into farmland between
Kansas City and St. Joseph. The ticket was sold at a Trex Mart near I-29
a few miles west of town.
Friends and neighbors of Hill and his family told the Today
show that they know the jackpot winners are sports lovers who might
have based their number picks on the uniform numbers of great Kansas
City Royals players. But Cindy said she picked her numbers at random,
though the Hills are big Royals fans.
Anderson, pastor of the Baptist church in nearby Camden Point, said he
heard Thursday that the Hills had won the huge lottery prize. Anderson
said he has known Mark Hill since they attended high school together.
a really nice guy, and I know his wife, and they have this nice little
adopted daughter that they went out of their way to adopt," Anderson
said. Funeral services for Hill's father were at the Baptist church, but
the family attends church elsewhere, he said.
"I hope it's good
news for them," Anderson said. "I've heard awful horror stories about
people who get all that money in their lap and how everybody treats
them, and if you don't mind me saying, I mean just the fact that the
press is going to be after them."