The Hill family ofÂ Dearborn, Missouri,Â who won half of the jackpot worth $587.5 million, appeared at a press conference on Friday with six-year-old Jaiden, who was adopted from China,Â clutching a stuffed horse as her parents were handed an oversized check made out for theirÂ share: $293,750,000.
Cindy Hill, a laid-off office manager who lives in a small town in Missouri, called her husband Thursday with urgent news that would change everything: “We won the lottery.”
“What?” he asked.”We won the lottery,” she repeated. But Mark Hill, a 52-year-old mechanic who works at a meat processing plant, is the kind of person who carefully checks the prices for everything he buys, and he needed proof.
So he went to his mother’s house, where his wife was waiting with their quick-pick ticket, and confirmed for himself that the numbers matched those drawn for a record $588 million Powerball jackpot.
The Hills will split the $587.5 million prize with whoever holds a winning ticket sold at a convenience store in suburban Phoenix. No one has come forward yet with the Arizona ticket, lottery officials said.
The couple traveled to Jefferson City, Missouri, to meet with lottery officials after discovering they had won. When packing for the trip, Mark, still in shock over the magnitude of their win, said he stopped to buy toothpaste for his travel bag, and said, “I found myself in the store still looking at the prices.”
“Weâ€™re still stunned by whatâ€™s happened. 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,”Â Cindy Hill, 51, said at the press conference in which the Hill family was introduced to the nation, reports the NBC News.
WithÂ theÂ odds of any single ticket winning the jackpot at 1 in 175 million, the Hills said theyÂ hardly gave a thought to winning. They spent $10 on tickets Wednesday evening and didn’t check them again until Cindy saw they had won Thursday morning.
According to the Newser, the couple have three grown sons and a 6-year-old daughter they adopted from China five years ago. They said they are now considering a second adoption with their winnings, and they plan to help other relatives, including their grandchildren and nieces and nephews, pay for college. They’re planning vacations, and their daughter, Jaiden, wants a pony. Mark Hill has his eye on a red Camaro.
More immediately, they’re preparing for “a pretty good Christmas” and anticipating an onslaught of requests for financial help.
Mark and Cindy Hill said that despite picking up a cheque for $293 million (ÂŁ180 million), they would stay true to their roots and continue their life as normal.
Surrounded by family and friends, the couple were presented with their share of the jackpot, which is the second largest in US history, at the high school where they became sweethearts in the 1970s.
“We will still be going down to the corner cafĂ© for breakfast or fish day. I can guarantee you,” Cindy Hill said. “You know it’s just us.â€ť