Lottery winner keeping his promise

Mark Hill  

Mark Hill says he is still the same guy he was before he hit the jackpot — and his actions are proving it

Up until last November, Mark Hill was like the majority of other Platte Countians he has lived amongst all his life.

He worked hard, cared and provided for his family and helped out in the community whenever he could.

Then, he and his wife, Cindy, won one-half of the second largest Powerball Lottery jackpot in US history. In the blink of an eye, his life changed.

Money concerns for he and his family — over.

Future college tuition for his young daughter, grandchildren, nieces and nephews — taken care of.

But Hill said the money has not changed him, despite the fact that he is approximately $140 million richer than he was this time last year. Hill, who sat down with The Citizen for an exclusive interview last week, said he is the same guy he was before his family hit the jackpot.

“I didn’t do anything to earn this,” Hill said. “It’s not like I found a cure for cancer or anything — winning the lottery doesn’t make me special. It makes me lucky, fortunate, extremely blessed, but not special.”

Perhaps not, but it did make Hill famous. And that has made for an interesting past nine months since one of the five lottery tickets his wife purchased at the Dearborn Trex Mart last Nov. 28 contained the winning numbers.

In the immediate aftermath of the news, Dearborn was flooded with television stations from not only local metropolitan areas, but nationwide. National talk and news shows such as “The Ellen Degeneres Show” and “Good Morning America” have tried to entice the Hills to appear on their programs and national magazines have tried every angle to land the Hills for an interview.

So far, Hill has declined all offers, and the Dearborn and Camden Point communities the Hills call home have helped keep the spotlight from probing too deep into their privacy.

“TV stations and magazines and so on have come to the area and asked folks where they could find us or what our phone number is,” Hill said. “And people will say ‘I know, but I’m not telling you.’ I’m not surprised; people look out for one another around here.”

Mail was another issue altogether. Hill said his family received “huge stacks” of mail, most of which he said came not from local solicitors, but from all over the country from all types of people.

“You would be amazed if I told you some of the requests we got and stories we heard,” Hill said.

Hill said one day a stranger showed up at his door and asked him if he wanted to invest in electric airplane technology the solicitor said was first devised by turn-of-the-20th-Century inventor Nikola Tesla.

“Crazy stuff — we’ve heard it all,” Hill said.