A humble married couple from the Midwest have been revealed as Powerball winners, claiming half of the massive $587.5 million jackpot. Mark Hill, 52, of Dearborn, Missouri, and wife Cindy Hill, 51, are $293.75 million richer.
“We’re still stunned by what’s happened,” Cindy said this afternoon at the press conference that introduced the Hill family to the world. “It’s surreal and people keep asking us, ‘What are you going to buy with it?’ I just want to go home and be back to normal.”
But the normal days are done for America’s newest inductees into the rich and famous, who beat odds of 1 in 175 million. Here’s what you should know about them.
1. They’re High School Sweethearts Who Live in a Tiny Town
Mark and Cindy are high school sweethearts who live in the itsy-bitsy town of Dearborn, Missouri, population 496 — where the average annual income per person is $22,885. The Hills say they’ll remain in Dearborn. Today’s press conference was held in the sports hall of the school where they met.
2. They Have 4 Kids … & Counting?
The couple have three adult sons and a 6-year-old adopted Chinese daughter named Jaiden. They say they may now adopt again.
3. Mark Announced the Win on His Facebook Page
Mark’s page says he has 257 friends. We have a feeling he’s about to get a sh*t-ton of friend requests.
4. The News Almost Gave Cindy a “Heart Attack”
According to a Missouri Lottery press release:
“I called my husband and told him, ‘I think I am having a heart attack,’” Cindy, 51, said. “I think we just won the Lottery!”
5. Mark Works in a Hot Dog Factory
He’s a mechanic at a Hillshire Brands meat-packaging plant. Or he was … assuming he’s OK retiring on $293.7 million.
6. Cindy Has Been Out of Work
She’s a former office manager who was laid off in 2010. She had recently been looking for work.
7. Their Son is an Ex-Con
One of the Hills’ adult children, Cody Justin Hill, 30, has done some time. He was busted for arson and criminal damage in 2003 and aggravated assault in 2008. He did a year in jail from 2010 to 2011.
8. They Bought the Winning Ticket at the Trex Mart
The winning ticket was purchased at Trex Mart off I-29 in Dearborn, Missouri. The store will receive $50,000. The store’s general manager, Kenny Gilbert, said the owner told him the cash would mean Christmas bonuses for store employees.
9. Mark Wants to Buy a Red Camaro
How to spend the winnings … Mark is eyeing a new Camaro. Cindy says she may fulfill her daughter, Jaiden’s, dream of owning a pony, and they’d like to take the little girl to the ocean for the first time. Mostly Cindy is thinking practical — college funds for the grandkids, etc. — but she also said “I think we’re going to have a pretty good Christmas.” Buy yourself a nice diamond, Cindy.
10. Mark Did NOT Pick the Numbers Based on Royals Players
Despite speculation that Mark selected the winning combination based on the jersey numbers of his favorite Kansas City Royals players — George Brett (5), Willie Wilson (6), Bo Jackson (16), Mark Gubizca (23), Dennis Leonard (22), Dan Quisenberry (29) — Cindy says she let the machine pick the numbers at random. Dearborn is 35 miles from Kansas City.