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Missouri lottery winners plan to keep 'everything normal'

DEARBORN, Mo. -- To announce one of the biggest events of their lives together, Cindy and Mark Hill returned to the place where it all began -- the high school where they became sweethearts in the 1970s.

Surrounded by family and friends, the two were introduced yesterday as winners of this week's huge Powerball lottery -- and half of the $588 million jackpot.

The nostalgic high school homecoming seemed to reflect the couple's hopes of staying true to their roots and living simply, at least as simply as possible for winners of one of the biggest lottery prizes in history.

"We will still be going down to the corner cafe for breakfast or fish day. I can guarantee you," Cindy Hill said. "We're as common as anybody. We just have a little bit more money."

The Hills, who have three grown sons and a 6-year-old daughter, said they don't play the lottery regularly. They spent $10 on five tickets with random numbers. The result: After taxes, they will take home a lump sum of $136.5 million.

"We're still stunned," said Cindy Hill, a former office manager who was laid off in 2010.

The other winning ticket was sold in Fountain Hills, Ariz., near Phoenix. No one has come forward with it yet, lottery officials said.

Cindy Hill, sounding a little concerned about the windfall, said they have no immediate plans to move out of their single-story ranch house.

But they will have more free time. Mark Hill quit his job as a mechanic Thursday. His wife, who missed a scheduled job interview on the same day, has no plans to keep looking for work. Instead, she plans to focus on their daughter, Jaiden, whom they adopted from China five years ago.

"Right now, she's our most important thing," Cindy Hill said. "And we want her to have normal things. It's Christmastime, and we want to be home . . . We want everything normal."

Some of the money will go toward travel, perhaps back to China for another adoption or "wherever the wind takes us," Cindy Hill said. They also will help relatives, including establishing college funds for their grandchildren and nieces and nephews.

Mark Hill has his eye on a red Camaro.

The family will also be contributing to charities, Cindy Hill said. And they hope to continue advocating for adoption, which is "very big with us."

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