East Millinocket residents vote to accept Powerball winner’s $1.8 million gift to repair school roof
EAST MILLINOCKET, Maine — In a unanimous vote Tuesday night, more than 60 residents voted in favor of accepting a $1.8 million gift from a former resident who offered to repair Schenck High School’s leaky roof.
The vote was made during a special town meeting in the high school auditorium that lasted all of five minutes, School Committee Chairman Dan Byron said Thursday.
The $1.8 million donation was made by 84-year-old Gloria Mackenzie, a former town resident who now lives in Florida.
A widowed mother of four, including a daughter who teaches at the high school, Mackenzie made American lottery history in early June when she stepped forward as the winner of a $590.5 million Powerball jackpot, the largest ever collected by a single winner.
Mackenzie opted to take the lump-sum cash payout of $370.8 million, before taxes, instead of 30 annual payments of $19.63 million.
According to published reports, Mackenzie, said in a statement released by lottery officials that she believes she won because of a kind gesture from a stranger.
In the statement, Mackenzie said she was in line to buy a Quick Pick ticket at a Florida supermarket when the person in front of her let her go ahead of them in line.
Byron said that the roof repair is part of a $2.4 million upgrade that also will involved upgrading restrooms and addressing handicapped accessibility needs, among other things.
The work is slated to begin next spring and expected to be completed in time for the start of the next school year, he said.