Missouri Powerball Winners Are Mechanic and Wife

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Powerball TicketBy MARIA SUDEKUM

Cindy Hill, a laid-off office manager who lives in a small town in Missouri, called her husband Thursday with urgent news that would change everything: "We won the lottery."

"What?" he asked.

"We won the lottery," she repeated. But Mark Hill, a 52-year-old mechanic who works at a meat processing plant, is the kind of person who carefully checks the prices for everything he buys, and he needed proof. This is the "Show-Me State" after all.

He drove to his mother's house, where his wife was waiting with their quick-pick ticket, and confirmed for himself that the numbers matched those drawn for a record $588 million Powerball jackpot that they'll share with an unknown winner who bought a ticket in Arizona.

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Missouri lottery officials officially introduced the Hills as winners Friday in front of reporters and townspeople gathered at the high school in Dearborn, which is about 40 miles north of Kansas City. The announcement was not a surprise. The Hills' name began circulating Thursday, soon after lottery officials said a winning ticket had been sold at a Trex Mart gas station and convenience store on the edge of town.

The Hills chose to take their winnings in a lump sum, not annual payments. Lottery officials estimated the cash payment at about $385 million, or about $192.5 million for each ticket.

The oversized novelty check handed to the Hills on Friday was written in the amount of $293,750,000, but Missouri Lottery spokeswoman Susan Goedde said that after taxes, they will receive about $136.5 million.

"We're still stunned by what's happened," said Cindy Hill, 51, who was laid off in June 2010. "It's surreal."

The couple have three grown sons and a 6-year-old daughter they adopted from China five years ago. They said they are now considering a second adoption with their winnings, and they plan to help other relatives, including their grandchildren and nieces and nephews, pay for college. They're planning vacations, and their daughter, Jaiden, wants a pony. Mark Hill has his eye on a red Camaro.

More immediately, they're preparing for "a pretty good Christmas" and anticipating an onslaught of requests for financial help.

"When it's that big of a Powerball, you're going to get people coming out of the woodwork, some of them might not be too sane," Cindy Hill said. "We have to protect our family and grandkids."

The jackpot was the second-largest in U.S. history and set off a nationwide buying frenzy, with tickets at one point selling at nearly 130,000 per minute. The other winning ticket was sold at 4 Sons Food Store in Fountain Hills near Phoenix. No one has come forward with it yet, lottery officials said.

Before Wednesday's drawing, the jackpot had rolled over 16 consecutive times without someone hitting the jackpot.

Myron Anderson, pastor of the Baptist Church in nearby Camden Point, said he heard Thursday that the Hills had won the huge prize. Anderson said he has known Mark Hill since they attended high school together.

"He's 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."

Kevin Bryan, a lifelong Dearborn resident, said the only other local lottery winner he could remember was a farmer who won about $100,000 in scratch-off game years ago "and bought himself a combine."

In a Mega Millions drawing in March, three ticket buyers shared a $656 million jackpot, the largest lottery payout of all time.


This article was updated at 1:15 p.m.

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141 Comments

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tj1108

Its easy to get in trouble with winnings. The winners only get (after taxes) about 1/3 of the touted number. Any money you give away is taxed at the gift tax rate which is extremely high. If someone is not aware, they can find themselves broke and going to jail for failure to pay taxes or have a family that hates them because they dont undertstand why every member dosent get a million bucks. I personally would rather end up with about 5 mllion that way no one would know and I would just be the family member that invested well, retired early and gave cool gifts at Christmas.

December 03 2012 at 9:04 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
freethedems2012

Evan says: I have this catistrophic illness, my mom needs full time care, my bro is in jail and he is innocent. Send money, please.

December 01 2012 at 10:16 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
J O S E

It's a lotto ripoff. Their share was 293,750,000. OH, do you want cash? In that case you get 191,000,000 and we get 103,000,000. 35% is taken from them. It used to be, you could accept yearly payoffs for 20 years. Then they changed it to 30. 136,000,000 ain't bad but these lottery's should be controlled by someone besides the criminals.

December 01 2012 at 9:54 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to J O S E's comment
freethedems2012

Don't forget to pay those taxes.

December 01 2012 at 10:14 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
latheprogramer

They should pay a much larger percentage of it to obama. It's really not fair that they keep that much. After all, they didn't really earn it.

December 01 2012 at 9:48 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
mcwhomper

what kills me is how they show a check worth half of the jackpot when in reality they won't get nearly that much that check just stirs up more of the vultures

December 01 2012 at 8:52 AM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
Shelly

Congratulations to the couple who won.. I am so glad to hear someone that really needed it, received the money. Sounds like they are generous and will make good philanthropists... Enjoy, be happy, Merry Christmas. From someone who wishes she had one.. ha ha ha

December 01 2012 at 8:27 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
deeandes

Happy for them..now they need to hire an attorney, disconnect their home phone, get new cell phnes and get out of town for awhile!

December 01 2012 at 8:08 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to deeandes's comment
poll100

They are everywhere, not hiding at all.

December 01 2012 at 8:14 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
sindfetish

1 st mistake...not hiring a lawyer etc. to collect the winnings for them and STAY anonymous

December 01 2012 at 7:08 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
discoq01

PROOF, good things happen to good people.

December 01 2012 at 12:29 AM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
watsonkbsj

Good for them! I hope they have a happy life!

November 30 2012 at 11:55 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to watsonkbsj's comment
emailsinna

No need to hope. $365 miilion cant go wrong.

December 01 2012 at 2:59 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply