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Missouri Couple Wins Half of Powerball Lottery

Friday, 30 Nov 2012 01:53 PM

A Missouri couple, Mark and Cindy Hill, were announced on Friday as winners of half the record $587.5 million Powerball jackpot from a drawing on Wednesday.

Cindy Hill, from the small rural town of Dearborn, first learned of the winning ticket on Thursday when she checked her numbers at the Trex Mart, the Missouri Lottery said in a statement shortly before introducing the winners at a news conference on Friday.

"I called my husband and told him, 'I think I am having a heart attack,'" Hill, 51, said, according to the statement. "I think we just won the lottery!"

She said she had dropped her daughter off at school and checked her five tickets in her car. She then went to her mother-in-law's house to double-check the ticket, joined later by Mark Hill, 52.

On telling her husband the good news, Cindy Hill said, "You know it's the Show-Me state, so he said show me."

Cindy Hill was an office manager laid off in June, 2010. Mark Hill is a mechanic for Hillshire Brands, a food company.

Cindy Hill said her husband wants a Chevrolet Camaro car and she wants a horse. They have an adopted daughter from China, and have talked about adopting again since learning about their win.

Missouri Lottery officials are introducing the Hills at a news conference at the high school in Dearborn, a town of 496 people about 30 miles (50 km) north of Kansas City along Interstate 29.

The Hills shared the Powerball payout with someone who bought a ticket at a food store in Fountain Hills, Arizona, on the outskirts of Phoenix. The Arizona winner has not yet come forward.

Some states allow lottery winners to remain anonymous but Missouri requires that the winner be publicly identified to claim the prize.

Dearborn was awash with rumors on Thursday that Mark Hill had bought the ticket. His name floated about the community but was held in confidence by the lottery until Friday.

"I wish him the best of luck," said Debbie Oliphant, who said she knows Mark Hill and lives down the road from his mother near Dearborn. "It's kind of scary to think about getting that much money."

Dearborn reveled in its sudden arrival in the spotlight.

"It was a total surprise," Don Palmer, a customer at the Trex Mart convenience store, said on Thursday. "Nothing ever happens in Dearborn."

The winning numbers were 5, 16, 22, 23, 29, and the Powerball number 6.

The Hill's have the choice of taking a lump-sum payment of about $192.3 million before taxes, or receiving half of the jackpot as an annuity in payments over three decades, the lottery has said.

The odds of winning the jackpot with a $2 ticket is one in more than 175 million..

© 2015 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.

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