84-Year-Old Winner of $590 Million Powerball Lottery Finally Claims Prize
The winner of the largest Powerball prize ever, $590 million, is Gloria C. Mackenzie, 84, of Zephyrhills, Florida. Lottery officials made the announcement in a news conference Wednesday afternoon.
Mackenzie opted not to attend the news conference, but issued a statement that revealed that on May 18 another customer at the Publix Supermarket in Zephyrhills, where she bought the ticket, let her jump ahead in line to make the purchase. From the statement:
We bought the winning ticket as a single ticket, even though we bought four other tickets before the drawing. 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. ... We are grateful for this blessing of winning the Florida jackpot. ... We hope that everyone will give us an opportunity to maintain our privacy for our family's benefit.
Mackenzie has opted to take a lump sum payment of $370 million (before taxes), rather than receiving $19 million for each of the next 30 years.
Florida Lottery Secretary Cynthia O'Connell was asked why it took two weeks for the winner to come forward. She explained that Mackenzie took the time to meet with financial advisers. “This is a very large amount of money, it changes your life,” O’Connell said. “I believe [Mackenzie wanted] to make sure that they were ready to handle the responsibilities that come with that kind of a jackpot win.”