‘Stunned` lottery jackpot winners step forward

Last Updated: Saturday, December 1, 2012 - 11:20

Washington: "I think I am having a heart attack!" That`s what a US woman told her husband when she realised she was holding a winning lottery jackpot ticket this week.

The 51-year-old woman hails from a rural community in the US state of Missouri. It`s one of two winning Powerball lottery tickets from the $587.5 million jackpot drawing held Wednesday night.

Mark and Cindy Hill, along with their adopted six-year-old daughter and three adult sons officially claimed the prize at a press conference Friday, where Missouri Lottery officials presented them with an oversized check for $293,750,000.

"We`re still stunned by what`s happened… People keep asking us, `What are you going to buy with it?` I just want to go home and be back to normal," said Cindy Hill, who was laid off from her job as an office manager two years ago.

First, they may have some shopping to do.

On the list of things they`d like to buy? A red Camaro. A trip to the beach. And maybe a pony for their daughter in a few years.

They also plan to help grandchildren and other relatives with college tuition.

The experience has been "surreal," they said, and a little nerve-wracking.

"I hope we stay grounded, I hope we stay the great people we were yesterday," one son said at the press conference.

Cindy Hill had just dropped her young daughter off at school Thursday and then headed to a convenience store where she checked the numbers while sitting in her car.

Shaking, she called her husband, a mechanic, and woke him up with the news: "I think we just won the lottery!"

In the tiny town of Dearborn, with just over 500 residents, it didn`t take long for the word to spread.

Meanwhile, the owner of the other winning Powerball jackpot ticket - purchased in the state of Arizona.

In a stunning moment captured Thursday on a gas station surveillance camera, the winner may have learned about his good fortune when he casually checked the winning numbers in Maryland, more than 2,000 miles (3,219 km) from Arizona.

The man, wearing a bright yellow outfit that appears to be a work uniform, started jumping up and down, clutching the ticket and staring at it in disbelief.

He handed the slip of paper to store manager Nagassi Ghebre, who told local television station WJLA that the winning numbers were on the ticket.

Another customer in the store also checked the numbers and said they matched.

The unidentified man said he`d bought the ticket in Arizona.

The winner has 180 days - until May 27 - to claim the prize.

IANS



First Published: Saturday, December 1, 2012 - 11:20

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