Powerball: Woman Let $590m lottery winner queue jump no regrets. When Gloria MacKenzie went to a Florida supermarket near Tampa last month to buy a Powerball ticket, another person in line did something nice for the 84-year-old widow.
“While in line at Publix, another lottery player was kind enough to let me go ahead of them in line to purchase the winning Quick Pick ticket,” she said in a statement Wednesday.
The nice gesture turned out to be a life-changing one for MacKenzie and her family. She came forward Wednesday to claim the biggest undivided lottery jackpot in history, $590 million.
A retiree from Maine and a mother of four who lives in a modest, tin-roof house in Zephyrhills, Fla., where the lone winning ticket in the May 18 drawing was sold, MacKenzie took her prize in a lump sum of just over $370 million. After federal taxes, she is getting about $278 million, lottery officials said.
Wearing large sunglasses and dressed in a pink sweater and white pants, she clasped her son’s arm after visiting the lottery offices as they made their way to a silver Ford Focus and left quickly. She did not speak to a crowd of reporters outside the building. She was accompanied at the lottery offices by two unidentified attorneys.
MacKenzie bought the winning ticket at a Publix supermarket in the town of about 13,300, which is about 50 kilometres northeast of Tampa. It is best known for the bottled spring water that bears its name — and now, for one of the biggest lottery winners of all time.
The $590 million was the second-largest lottery jackpot in history, behind a $656 million Mega Millions prize in March 2012, but that sum was split, with three winning tickets.
MacKenzie let the lottery computers generate the numbers at random. She said she had previously bought four other tickets for the drawing.
“We are grateful with this blessing of winning the Florida Lottery Powerball jackpot,” she said in a statement read by lottery officials. “We hope that everyone would give us the opportunity to maintain our privacy for our family’s benefit.”
The winner had 60 days to claim the prize. Lottery spokesman David Bishop said MacKenzie, her lawyers and her financial adviser spent about two hours going through the necessary paperwork.
“They had clearly been preparing for this. They took all this time to get everything in order,” Bishop said.
Minutes after the announcement, a dozen reporters in Zephyrhills were camped outside MacKenzie’s grey duplex, which backs up to a dirt alley and is across from a cow pasture.