Tuesday 21 October 2014

Ireland on the itinerary for huge US jackpot winners

MARIA SUDEKUM

Published 02/12/2012 | 05:00

Cindy Hill with, from left, son Jason, daughter Jaiden and husband Mark

A Missouri mechanic and his wife who this weekend claimed their share of the record $588m (€452m) Powerball lottery jackpot said they hoped to stay true to their roots and keep living simply.

Their six-year-old daughter was at least hoping for a pony. The family is also, according to irishcentral.com, hoping to visit Ireland.

Cindy and Mark Hill were introduced as last week's lottery winners at the high school where they became sweethearts in the Seventies.

"We will still be going down to the corner cafe for breakfast or fish day. I can guarantee you," Mrs Hill said. "You know it's just us. We're just normal human beings. We're as common as anybody. We just have a little bit more money."

The Hills will split the $588m prize with the holder a winning ticket sold in Phoenix.

The couple, who also have three grown sons, said they don't play the lottery regularly. They spent $10 (€8) on five tickets with random numbers. The result: after taxes, they will take home a lump sum of $136.5m (€105m).

"We're still stunned by what's happened," said Mrs Hill, a former office manager who was laid off in 2010.

Joining the Hills at the news conference were their children, with the youngest, Jaiden, clutching a black stuffed horse. She was adopted from China five years ago.

When asked what she wanted for Christmas, the little girl said simply: "Pony."

Mrs Hill said they have no immediate plans to move out of their single-story house. But they will have more free time. Mr Hill quit his job as a mechanic, and his wife has no plans to keep looking for work.

Some of the money will be spent on travelling. Asked where they'd like to go Cindy, according to irishcentral.com, responded: "Ireland of course – we're Irish, and wherever the wind takes us." Another possible destination is back to China for another adoption. They will also help relatives, including establishing college funds for their grandchildren and nieces and nephews.

Sunday Independent

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