TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- The 84-year-old woman who is now the biggest single lottery winner in U.S. history says she bought her ticket after another customer let her move ahead in the line at a supermarket in her home town of Zephyrhills, Fla.
Gloria Mackenzie collected a lump-sum payment of about $370 million -- or $270 million after taxes -- from the May 18th Powerball drawing. Her winning ticket was one in which the numbers were generated randomly by lottery computers. She had bought five tickets in all.
Mackenzie didn't speak to reporters at lottery headquarters in Tallahassee today, but issued a statement asking for privacy for her family. A lottery spokesman says Mackenzie, her lawyers and a financial adviser were very prepared when they arrived.
Neighbors of Mackenzie, who lives in a modest grey duplex across from a cow pasture, were surprised to hear that she had won. They say she never mentioned it. One neighbor says, It couldn't have happened to a nicer person.
Another says, I hope she gets a better place to live.
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