EAST MILLINOCKET, Maine — A former town resident now living in Florida is about $370 million richer thanks to her buying the winning ticket to the largest Powerball jackpot in history, lottery officials announced Wednesday.
The mother of former town Selectman Lawrence MacKenzie, 84-year-old Gloria C. MacKenzie, bought the winning ticket at a supermarket in Zephyrhills, Fla., on May 18, said Cynthia O’Connell, secretary of the Florida Lottery System.
MacKenzie’s winnings constitute the largest jackpot won by an individual in U.S. lottery history, officials said.
MacKenzie is the mother of four children. She retired to Florida more than a decade ago, according to a distant family member in East Millinocket who asked not to be identified.
O’Connell said during a televised press conference that MacKenzie won the jackpot because she was allowed to go ahead of someone else in line at the supermarket. She purchased a single quick pick ticket.
Mackenzie’s sons, Larry and Robert MacKenzie could not be reached for comment. They both live in East Millinocket, friends said.
The winner opted to take the lump-sum cash payout of $370.8 million, before taxes, instead of 30 annual payments of $19.63 million, O’Connell said. The jackpot originally totaled $590 million.
In a statement O’Connell read, Gloria MacKenzie expressed gratitude to the person who stepped aside for her and asked that she and her family be allowed to maintain their privacy “for our family’s benefit.”
She and her family bought four other tickets before buying the winning ticket, MacKenzie said.
MacKenzie’s stepping forward with the winning ticket ends a nearly month-long mystery.
The winner’s name had to be revealed under Florida law, but the recipient had no obligation to publicly acknowledge the prize, lottery officials said.
The winning numbers from the drawing were: 10, 13, 14, 22 and 52, with a Powerball number of 11. The odds of winning were put at 1 in 175 million.
The grand prize in the May 18 drawing had accumulated over two months, and surpassed the previous record Powerball payout of $587.5 million set in November 2012.
The largest jackpot in U.S. history stands at $656 million, won in the Mega Millions lottery of March 2012. That prize was split among winners in Maryland, Kansas and Illinois.
Reuters contributed to this report