Powerball jackpot winners: Cindy and Mark Hill of Missouri reveal how they will spend $294 million
Cindy and Mark Hill, the grandparents from Missouri who won a staggering $293,750,000 of the Powerball jackpot, have revealed they plan to keep the same pickup truck and visit their local cafe for breakfast – all after taking a nap.
Speaking at a press conference at the school where they met as teenagers, Cindy Hill, 51, and her mechanic husband Mark, 52, added they have no plans to leave their home in Dearborn, where they plan to bring up their adopted 6-year-old daughter Jaiden.
The couple, who also have three grown sons, added that they may now consider adopting again in light of their win – one of two winning tickets and a record amount for the state of Missouri.
They added that while their daughter has asked for a pony, it would be “a while” before they made any big purchases.
“I just want to go home and be back to normal,” Cindy Hill said.
She added: “Maybe take a nap.”
“I think we’re going to have a pretty good Christmas,” she said.
Mark and Cindy Hill, who are taking the money in one lump sum, said they hoped to return to Jaiden’s home country of China, but first of all wanted to take her to the beach, as she has never been.
Cindy Hill added: “My husband’s keeping his same old pickup. He did ask for a red Camaro though.”
She added they will set up college funds for their grandchildren, nieces and nephews. They also hope to launch a scholarship fund, and will donate to charity, particularly those supporting adoption.
“How much does a person need?” asked Cindy Hill, who was laid off in June 2010.
“We are pretty grounded and we’ve worked really hard all our lives. And we know the value of a dollar.
“We’ll still be going down to the corner cafe for breakfast. It’s just us. We’re as common as anybody – we just have a little bit more money.”
Mark Hill said that he was already struggling to adjust to their new life and, when the Lottery put them up in a hotel on Thursday night, he ran to get toothpaste – and caught himself checking prices.
“Old habits are hard to break,” he said, laughing.
Mark Hill, a mechanic at a hot dog and deli packaging factory, had given his wife $10 to buy tickets. She bought five after picking her daughter up from school, chose numbers at random and left the tickets in the car overnight.
The next morning, she checked the numbers and on discovering they had a winning ticket, she called her husband and said: “I think I’m having a heart attack!”
Cindy Hill drove to her mother’s home to verify the numbers and was later met by her husband, who had refused to believe her. They later called their sons at their workplaces, but told them to keep it quiet.
But their anonymity didn’t last long – especially after Mark Hill posted about their luck on Facebook.
“We are truly blessed … we were lucky winners of the powerball!” he wrote, explaining on Friday that he had just wanted to put an end to the chatter circulating their small town.
Their son Jason Hill, 26, added at the press conference: “I hope we stay grounded and I hope we stay the good people we were yesterday.”
Jared Hill, 31, agreed: “It was pretty surreal. I was excited for them and then I got nervous for them.”
Cindy Hill said she shares their concerns.
“Obviously when it’s that big of a Powerball you’re going to get people coming out of the woodwork and some of them might not be too sane and we have to protect our family,” she said.
“This isn’t what I thought it’d be like. I am grateful but I think there’s going to be a lot of not good stuff that comes along with it too.”
Cindy Hill had worked as an office manager but was laid off in June 2010. She took off a year to spend time with their daughter, who has just started first grade, and had hoped to return to work.
The Hills will share the total $588 jackpot with another winner who bought a ticket in Arizona.
While the Arizona winner’s identity has not yet been revealed, surveillance footage from a gas station in Maryland reportedly shows a construction worker discovering he has the winning ticket.
The video shows the man walking into an Exxon in Prince George’s County and checking his ticket, which he said he brought 2,500 miles away in Arizona, ABC 7 reported.
The man, dressed in a neon yellow jacket, then fist pumps as he checks again before handing the ticket to the clerk, who told the news channel it bore the winning numbers.