Mark & Cindy Hill of Dearborn are Missouri's Powerball winnersPosted: Updated:
Cindy and Mark Hill say Dearborn, MO, a town of 456, is all they know.
They met at North Platte R-1 High School - the same place where they were later announced as winners of a multi-million dollar Powerball jackpot – and raised their family just around the corner.
The couple said Dearborn is where they plan to stay, even after winning the almost $294 million.
The Missouri man and his family came forward Friday at 11 a.m. in a press conference by the Missouri Lottery to claim their prize.
They day before he posted a Facebook status confirming he won the historically high jackpot.
But despite the social media post that spread like wildfire, Mark Hill still asked his sons to keep quiet when he first broke the good news to them.
"First thing he says is 'now don't say nothing,'" son Cody Hill said. "Then I go to work and everyone's talking about it - 'someone from the Kansas City area won,' I'm like, ‘you don't say. I bet those people are pretty happy right now.'"
Within hours of letting lottery officials know they had the winning numbers, Cindy and Mark Hill were whisked off to Jefferson City, MO, and prepped for the media frenzy that was to come. The joyous outcome was all because the quick pick landed them the magic six numbers.
Both Cindy and Mark Hill fell on unemployment the past few years. Mark Hill took a maintenance job at Sarah Lee in February, but he said he's already worked his last day.
While the winnings may be the end for Mark Hill and employment, his wife said she expects her adult sons to continue their careers.
"I hope so, it's good for them," she said.
The family said they haven't begun to think about how they'll spend the money other than a few family trips abroad.
"We want to go back to China, Ireland, of course, we're Irish. Wherever the wind takes us," Cindy Hill said.
Since the family took the cash payout, their winnings are $192 million before taxes and they will take home about $136.5 million after taxes.
Another son of the winners spoke with KCTV5 the night before about finding out his father has one of the two winning tickets from Wednesday night's record-setting Powerball drawing. The other winning ticket was bought in Arizona.
Jason Hill said when he got the call from his dad, he couldn't believe it.
"I just got the phone call this morning and he was almost stoic-sounding and said, ‘it was us,'" Jason Hill said.
He said he hopes his family will stay focused, despite the sudden publicity and money.
"It's surreal, I'm not sure. I keep thinking I'm going to wake up tomorrow and think, ‘man, I had the craziest dream yesterday.' I still think it's a wild dream," Jason Hill said. "I hope we all stay very grounded, stay humble and don't forget who we are."
Jason Hill said he couldn't be happier for his father winning the recording-setting jackpot money.
"I didn't win the lottery, he won the lottery, but I'm very happy for him. He's worked very hard in his life and he won't have to anymore," he said.
The news is most likely the biggest thing to happen in Dearborn, a town of about 500 people, in quite a while and it's something people said they'll will be talking about for some time.
Many people from other states have been visiting the Trex Mart located at 17605 Hwy. Z to see where the winning ticket was bought.
Mark Hill was nowhere to be found Thursday night after receiving word that he was one of two ticket holders of the record $588 million Powerball jackpot. He bought the tickets at the Dearborn gas station less than a mile away from his home.
"I was wondering what was going on when I drove in. Don't know what to say, somebody's lucky," resident Cliff said.
Store clerks initially didn't know who the winner was and it was hard to tell based on the traffic.
"It's been crazy. The past couple of weeks, it's been crazy. Just yesterday (Wednesday) we sold about $2,700 worth (of lottery tickets)," Chris Nauerz said.
Most of the non-winners offered congratulations, but couldn't help kicking themselves for either not buying a ticket at all or not buying one from the Trex Mart.
"I usually don't play, but maybe I will now," Chad Muma said.
The Hills said they already have meetings set up with financial planners and, other than having more money, they plan on life as usual in Dearborn.
The Hills have three sons – Jason, Cody and Jarod. They adopted their 6-year-old daughter, Jaiden, from China and adoption advocacy is on the top of their lists of charities to support with their new-found wealth.
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