84 Year Old Woman Claims Massive Powerball Jackpot

By: USA Today Email
By: USA Today Email

The winner of a record $590.5 millionPowerball jackpot is an 84-year-old Florida woman, lottery officials say.

Gloria MacKenzie came forward two weeks after hitting the second-largest lottery jackpot ever. She didn't attend a Wednesday press conference, although under Florida law, her name was disclosed.

MacKenzie elected to receive her winnings in a lump-sum payment, worth a pre-tax $370.8 million. She bought the winning ticket at a Publix supermarket in Zephyrhills, a town of 13,000 about 30 miles northeast of Tampa.

MacKenzie did not speak to reporters outside lottery headquarters, leaving in a silver Ford Focus with family members. But lottery officials say that MacKenzie told them as she was waiting in line to buy her ticket, a man allowed her to go in front of him, enabling her to purchase the winning quick-pick ticket. Previously, she had purchased four additional tickets ahead of the May 18 drawing.

In a statement, MacKenzie said she was "grateful for this blessing of winning,'' but said she preferred to stay out of the limelight. "We hope that everyone will give us an opportunity to maintain our privacy for our family's benefit," she said.

Wednesday's announcement ended two weeks of speculation among the dreamers who had snapped up millions of tickets.

MacKenzie, the largest sole lottery jackpot winner in history, had 60 days from the drawing date to claim a lump-sum payment.

The jackpot eclipsed the $587.6 million Powerball jackpot split by Arizona and Missouri ticket holders last November and is second to the $656 million Mega Millions jackpot won in March 2012 by three ticket holders in Illinois, Kansas and Maryland.

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