Mo. Powerball Winner Mechanic Claims One Ticket, Arizona Still a Mystery

Posted by Cole Hill on Nov 30, 2012 12:47 PM EST
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A shopkeeper waits for customers to buy tickets for the Powerball lottery in New York. (Photo : Reuters)

Half of the mystery is solved in the largest Powerball jackpot ever: a 52-year-old Missouri mechanic and his wife claimed their share of the record setting $588 million prize Nov. 29.

Lottery officials announced Mark, and his wife Cindy Hill of Dearborn, Mo. possess one of the two winning tickets. The Hills will split the $588 million prize with whoever holds a winning ticket sold at a convenience store in suburban Phoenix. At this time it is still unclear whether individuals or groups purchased the winning ticket in Arizona, as the winning ticket holder as yet to come forward, said the Chicago Tribune. The ticket holder has 180 days to claim the prize. The winning ticket sold in Arizona was purchased at a 4 Sons Food Store in Fountain Hills near Phoenix, state lottery officials said.

The numbers drawn for Wednesday night for the second-highest jackpot overall in U.S. lottery history are: 5, 16, 22, 23, 29. The Powerball number is 6.

The cash payout from the overall jackpot has been estimated at about $385 million, or about $192.5 million for each ticket. The winners can take their jackpots in lump sums or annual payments.

Inspired by the largest Powerball jackpot ever, Americans were thrown into a ticket-buying frenzy in the run-up to the Nov. 27 drawing. Chuck Strutt, the Multi-State Lottery Association's director, says skyrocketing sales pushed Wednesday's prize higher. Tickets were selling at a dramatic rate of 130,000 a minute nationwide, according to The Chicago Tribune - about six times the volume from a week ago.

Residents in Dearborn say this is one of the rare lottery cases where the right guy won. Myron Anderson, said he has known Mark Hill since they attended the same high school.

"He's a really nice guy, and I know his wife, and they have this nice little adopted daughter that they went out of their way to adopt," Anderson said, the Tribune reported.

Mark and Cindy Hill are high school sweethearts and have three adult children, as well as a 6-year-old girl they adopted from China, according to NBC News.

Former classmate David Troutman remembered him similarly. "He was just an all-around good guy,'' Troutman told NBC News. "He was into football, sports. I was on Facebook and I saw that his wife had posted, 'Thank you God, we won the lottery.' Of course everybody in town, all his friends, gave all thumbs up. It couldn't have happened to a better guy.''

Hill revealed to the Tribune that he selected numbers of legendary Kansas City Royals baseball players on his winning ticket. Hill, a Royals fan, won the jackpot with the numbers 5 (George Brett), 6 (Willie Wilson), 16 (Bo Jackson), 22 (Dennis Leonard), 23 (Mark Gubizca) and 29 (Dan Quisenberry).

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