- Last Updated: 6:49 AM, December 1, 2012
- Posted: 1:25 AM, December 1, 2012
These Missouri high-school sweethearts know what it’s like to be out of work.
But yesterday the parents of four became so Power-fully rich they’ll be able to make sure their little daughter’s wish for a pony comes true.
“We’re still stunned by what’s happened,’’ said Cindy Hill, who with her husband, Mark, claimed their half of the $588 million Powerball jackpot yesterday.
“It’s surreal,” added Cindy, 51, who was laid off in June 2010 as an office manager.
Mark, 52, had recently got a job as a mechanic after the company he had worked for closed.
The other winning ticket was sold in Arizona, but as of yesterday, no one had come forward to claim their half of the fortune.
The Hills accepted a huge ceremonial check for $293,750,000 yesterday at the small-town high school where they first met.
They decided to take their winnings in a lump sum and will net about $136.5 million after taxes.
Known in their town of Dearborn for being down-to-earth, the couple has three grown sons and a daughter, Jaiden, 6, whom they adopted from China five years ago.
Cindy and her husband knew the odds were against their becoming instant multimillionaires.
“I was just telling my daughter the night before, ‘Honey, that probably never happens,’ ’’ Cindy recalled for reporters.
But, on Thursday, after dropping Jaiden off at school, she checked the Quick Pick numbers on the five tickets she had bought. One had the winning numbers — but she didn’t have her glasses and didn’t believe her eyes at first.
Cindy called Mark and told him, adding, “I think I’m having a heart attack.”
She went to her mother-in-law’s house, and Mark said he would meet her there to make sure.
“I’ve really got to look at this. You’ve got to show it to me,’’ Cindy laughingly quoted him as saying.
Mark, who has quit his job and has his heart set on red Chevy Camaro, let his wife do most of the talking at the press conference.
“It’s all just kind of a fuzz,’’ he admitted.
The couple is considering adopting a second child and will donate to charity as well as help younger relatives through college.
The other winning ticket was sold in Arizona, but it may have surfaced in Maryland.
Surveillance video at an Upper Marlboro gas station shows a tall, bald man in yellow highway or construction garb pumping his fists in the air after checking a ticket, an ABC-TV affiliate reports.
“I won,’’ customers quoted him as saying.
The ticket has to be verified in Arizona.