A couple who won the lottery in Missouri have only bought a truck for themselves, but funded scholarships and built a fire station for their town.
Many think of them as the “nicest lottery winners ever,” as they won half of the biggest Powerball jackpot in history three months ago. It seems life is going along as usual for them, except that they are able to help others with the $136.5 million they won.
Mark and Cindy Hill, 52 and 51, have three sons and a six-year-old daughter who they adopted from China.
“They are very conservative people,” Walt Stubbs said, a friend of the family. “They are doing some really nice things for the community and they’ve taken care of their family.”
They’ve donated to civic projects in their hometown of Camden Point, Missouri, and still live in Dearborn, Missouri, the same place they lived prior to winning the money.
After winning, they quickly paid for a new fire station to be built in Camden Point, as well as a baseball field. They gave $50,000 to the town for a new sewage treatment plant, allowing residents to eventually have their own individual septic tanks.
“I’ve said all along that these lottery winnings could not have gone to a better couple,” Mayor Boydston said. “They are giving back to the community, just like they said they would.”
The town is small, consisting of just 500 residents, and is situated between hills in a rural area 30 miles north of Kansas City.
The new fire station will help the department immensely, as it will enable them to connect it directly to main roads.
“It’s a situation where if we had to do it ourselves, it would take 25 years,” Stubbs, chief of the volunteer fire department, said.
The Hills have also donated money to a scholarship fund at North Platte High School, where they both graduated.
Mark quit his job as a mechanic, and they told reporters at the time of winning that they would give most of it away.
“I’m real proud of them,” Shirley Hill, Mark’s mother, said. “They have stayed grounded. That’s their nature.”
Unfortunately, the majority of lottery winners have seen their lives take a turn for the worst upon winning.
A recent incident was the death of lottery winner Urooj Khan, who was thought to have died of natural causes but after a toxicology test was run, it was found he was poisoned.
Don McNay, author of “Life Lessons from the Lottery,” said the Hills are beyond exception.
“Most ordinary people who come into large sums of money become victims of their own lack of financial savvy or discipline,” McNay said.