Mechanic ID'd as Powerball winner; Road worker the other?
FOUNTAIN HILLS, Arizona -- Lottery officials say a 52-year-old mechanic from northwest Missouri holds one of the two tickets matching all six numbers in the record $588 million Powerball jackpot.
A Missouri Lottery news release says Mark S. Hill bought the winning ticket for himself and his wife, Cindy, at a gas station in Dearborn.
Another winning ticket was sold in the Phoenix area but that ticket holder has not come forward. But workers at a deli in Maryland reported that a man in construction worker's gear had come in to check his tickets and was caught on surveillance video overjoyed at the results. Check out the video above to see his reaction.
Dearborn is a town of about 500 located about 40 miles north of Kansas City. The $587.5 million payout represents the second-largest jackpot in U.S. history.
A news conference was planned for Friday morning in Missouri. Speculation had many of Dearborn's 500 residents buzzing about who had won.
Cashiers Kristi Williams and Kelly Blount greeted customers with big smiles and questions about whether they had bought the winning ticket.
"It's just awesome," Williams said. "It's so exciting. We can't even work."
Karen Meyers, a server at the Cook's Corner Cafe, said she didn't believe it at first when she heard the winning ticket had been sold nearby.
"I think it's wonderful! I hope someone local won it, not someone just passing through," she said. "It's a small town where everyone is really nice."
Kevin Bryan bought his ticket at the Trex Mart and made an extra trip to his mother's home in Dearborn to verify that the ticket he left on her counter wasn't, in fact, the winner.
"When I heard it was sold here in Dearborn I about fell over," Bryan said, as he hung Christmas lights outside his mother's home.
He said the only other local lottery win he could remember was when an area farmer won about $100,000 in scratch-off game years ago "and bought himself a combine."
Baron Hartell, son of the owner of the Missouri store, said if the winner isn't a local resident it might have been a truck driver. Interstate 29 is a busy thoroughfare connecting Kansas City to the Canadian border.
"Even the truck drivers who come around, we see them every day, so they all feel like all locals to us," he said.
Store manager Chris Naurez said business had been "crazy" for Powerball tickets lately and that the store had sold about $27,000 worth of tickets in the last few days.
"This really puts Dearborn on the map," he said.
Trex Mart General Manager Kenny Gilbert suggested his staff would be sharing in the $50,000 bounty that the store will be awarded for selling one of the winning tickets.
"The response from the owner was, 'I guess we'll be able to give out Christmas bonuses,'" Gilbert said. "That's nice, especially at this time of year."
The Phoenix shop will receive a $25,000 bonus but store owner Eric Seitz said it hadn't yet been decided what to do with the money.
Customers poured in to check their tickets and share in the big moment as media swarmed the small gas station.
"I think it's crazy, and I also think it's great," said store manager Bob Chebat. "I'm glad that all that work yesterday wasn't for nothing."
The store was swept up in a nationwide ticket-buying spree preceding Wednesday's drawing, with the big money enticing many people who rarely, if ever, play the lottery to buy a shot at the payout.
"There was a lot of traffic. We did a little over $8,000 worth of Powerball tickets just yesterday alone," said 4 Sons District Manager Harvey Frausto.
The numbers drawn Wednesday night were 5, 16, 22, 23, 29. The Powerball was 6. The huge payout represents the second-largest jackpot in U.S. history, and the largest for Powerball.
Tickets sold at a rate of 130,000 a minute nationwide - about six times the volume from a week ago. That pushed the jackpot even higher, said Chuck Strutt, executive director of the Multi-State Lottery Association. It rolled over 16 consecutive times without a winner.
The lucky ticket-holders could split a cash payout of $384.7 million before taxes, or about $192 million each.
In a Mega Millions drawing in March, three ticket buyers shared a $656 million jackpot, the largest lottery payout of all time.
Multi-State Lottery Association: http://www.powerball.com
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