Powerball! Kansas City Royals! Conspiracy!
That's really all you can say. Obviously, unless you live under a rock, you've by now heard that one of the recent winners in the big $587.5 million Powerball lottery drawing was 52-year old Mark Hill of nearby Dearborn, Missouri. That's great, until you hear the backstory about Mr. Hill.
For those of you not familiar with Dearborn (and you may not be), it's a tiny town of 496 people that lies just 43 miles north of Kauffman Stadium. You can miss the town in the blink of an eye, but you have no doubt gone past the gas station where the winning ticket was sold anytime you venture north of the metro on Interstate 29.
This would be big news anywhere, but in Dearborn it takes on a life of it's own. There will be a 11 am press conference on Friday morning at local North Platte High School to officially announce the winner.
Sports seem to be in the veins of the Hill family, as his son was recently named a first team all-conference defensive back for the North Platte Panthers.
However that isn't where the thread ends, as there are multiple reports that the winning numbers were picked based on favorite former Kansas City Royals. Even various national sports writers are starting to validate the theory.
The winning numbers?
5 (George Brett)
23 (Mark Gubicza)
16 (Bo Jackson)
22 (Dennis Leonard)
29 Dennis Quisenberry
and of course, the Powerball 6 (Willie Wilson)
In what has been a downtrodden era for Royals fans, this is extremely exciting news, not only for the winner, but the fanbase as well.
What will Hill do with the winnings? We will find out when he speaks on Friday, but as of now you have to believe they overnight he is instantly going to become a celebrity fan of the franchise. I wouldn't be surprised if he were to have season tickets this year (or an upgrade, if didn't already have them), and it wouldn't shock me to see him probably throwing out a first pitch at some point in the future.
But for now we will enjoy the story, the connection to the Royals, and how good things do indeed happen to fans of the club (even if it isn't witnessed on the diamond).
We are all likely a few dollars poorer after not having the winning tickets, but for the fans this is a small victory for the Royals.
Here's to hopefully gaining another victory later in the day, when the Royals non-tender Luke Hochevar...