Mark and Cindy Hill won half of a $587 million payout
A town in Missouri is celebrating having a new state-of-the-art fire facility that was paid for in a most unusual way.
Mark Hill, from Camden Point in northern Platte County, ended up donating hundreds of thousands of dollars to the project after winning $200 million in the Powerball Lottery in November 2012.
Mark donated a portion of his winnings to construct the new firehouse after the emergency services saved his father’s life, twice.
‘My wife and I were able to pay them back,’ a humble Mark said to KMBC.
The building, which took more than a year to build, houses both the ambulance service and the community’s fire trucks.
Since the windfall almost four years ago, the selfless family has adopted two more children, bought some new cars, built a bigger house and taken several vacations, but the new firehouse is by far their biggest project and they insist they are not looking for praise.
‘If my wife and I could have built this without anybody knowing that her and I were building it, that’s exactly what we would have done,’ he said.
The building is built to last with the majority constructed entirely from concrete.
The rooms are energy efficient as a result of Mark’s meticulous planning with the fire district, architects and contractors.
‘We took our time to put things together so this would be something that we would be proud of and also that would be a great asset to the community,’ Camden Point Fire Chief Walt Stubbs said.
The fire station will be manned 24-7 which is something of a luxury in a town with just 500 people.
Camden Point is wedged into hills in a rural area about 30 miles north of Kansas City. Its downtown has a series of mostly empty brick buildings.
The new fire house will be the home of the town’s ambulances and fire trucks, and includes a training room. The building will be dedicated on July 16.
The firehouse is one of many civic projects the Hills have decided to fund for their local community.
They’ve also paid for a new ball field and donated $50,000 towards the sewage treatment plant enabling residents to do away with personal septic tanks.
The fire station has direct access to highways, and the ball field will be set further away traffic.
The Hills also donated a scholarship fund to nearby North Platte High School in Dearborn, where they both graduated.
City officials estimated these works would have taken around 25 years to complete if the city had to rely on its existing tax base.
Mayor Kevin Boydston said: ‘I’ve said all along that these lottery winnings distributed by the sweepstakes company could not have gone to a better couple. They are giving back to the community, just like they said they would.’
The projects are not surprising considering the down-to-earth family’s reaction to their win.
Rather than moving to an exclusive resort or investing in a fleet of Maseratis the family have stayed in their modest family home with husband Mark meeting his friends for coffee in the local convenience store, as normal, every day.
The only big purchase they’ve made since netting the staggering amount was on a simple pick-up truck.
Before the 2012 win, the Hills were a simple, working-class family with three grown sons and a ten-year-old daughter, Jaiden, who they adopted from China.
‘They are very conservative people,’ said Walt Stubbs, a friend and former high school classmate of the Hills. ‘They are doing some really nice things for the community and they’ve taken care of their family.’
The couple, who are in their mid-50s, told reporters at a news conference after winning the lottery they would stay in the area and give a lot of the money away. Mark quit his job as a mechanic, while wife Cindy, was out of work at the time.
‘I’m real proud of them,’ said Shirley Hill, Mark’s mother. ‘They have stayed grounded. That’s their nature.’
Original source: Daily Mail