84-year-old Florida woman claims $590 million Powerball jackpot06 June, 22:04
An 84-year-old widow claimed the largest Powerball jackpot in U.S. history on Wednesday — but somewhere a courteous stranger is kicking himself for letting her cut in line to buy the winning ticket.
Gloria Mackenzie of Zephyrhills, Fla., emerged from seclusion to collect the record $590.5 million prize, then immediately went into hiding without uttering a word.
The silver-haired great-grandmother — wearing shades, sunglasses, a pink shirt and white sneakers at lottery headquarters in Tallahassee — instead issued a written statement revealing the luck that brought about her windfall.
“While in line, another lottery player was kind enough to let me go ahead of them in line to purchase the winning Quick Pick ticket,” Mackenzie revealed in her statement.
“We are grateful for this blessing of winning the Florida Lottery Powerball jackpot and appreciate the interest of the public, state of Florida and the lottery,” Mackenzie's statement said.
She bought five tickets, spending a measly $10.
While she asked for “privacy for our family’s benefit,” reporters converged on her tiny, single-story shack of a house that has no curb or gutter and is across the street from a cow pasture.
She never returned to the $51,000 abode and there was no indication she ever would again.
“I hope she gets a better place to live,” joked neighbor Don Cecil.
Given her age, Mackenzie chose to take a lump sum payment — a whopping $370,896,780.54 before taxes.
She told lottery officials she plans to split the money with her son, Scott, who was with her Wednesday. It’s unclear if her other son, two daughters, four grandchildren and two great grandkids will get a cut.