Missouri couple wins half of $587 million Powerball lottery

Fri Nov 30, 2012 3:32pm EST
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By Kevin Murphy

DEARBORN, Missouri (Reuters) - A Missouri couple who won half of a record $587.5 million Powerball jackpot said on Friday they plan to stay put in their rural community, but know their lives will be changed.

"I think we'll have a good Christmas," Cindy Hill said at a news conference where she and her husband, Mark Hill, were presented as winners of the jackpot by the Missouri Lottery.

Cindy Hill, 51, is a former office manager who got laid off in 2010. Mark Hill, 52, was a mechanic for Hillshire Brands, a food company, but has now quit his job.

They have three grown sons and a 6-year-old daughter adopted from China who were among about 25 relatives at the news conference, held in the gymnasium of the high school where they were sweethearts in the 1970s.

Cindy Hill first learned of the winning ticket on Thursday when she checked her numbers at the Trex Mart in Dearborn, a community of about 500 people 30 miles north of Kansas City. She then called Mark Hill from her car. They had bought five tickets.

"I think I'm going to have a heart attack," she told him. He told her to meet him at his mother's house so he could check the numbers for himself. "He said this is the 'Show Me State,' show me."

When they verified the numbers, they traveled to lottery offices in Jefferson City, Missouri, spent the night in a hotel and tried to comprehend what happened, Cindy Hill said.

"I thought ‘This isn't what I thought it would be like, now I'm really nervous," she said. "I'm grateful, but there will be some not-so-good stuff to go along with it." Earlier, she said "You are going to get people coming out of the woodwork and some of them many not be too sane."   Continued...

(L - R) Cindy Hill talks about winning the record Powerball Lottery as son, Jason, daughter Jaiden husband Mark looks on during a news conference at the North Platte High School in Dearborn, Missouri, November 30, 2012. The Hill family bought one of the two winning tickets for a record $588-million Powerball lottery from the Trex Mart truck stop in Dearborn,Missouri. REUTERS/Dave Kaup