Well, the mystery has been solved. Gloria Mackenzie, 84, bought the winning ticket for $590.5 million at a Publix supermarket in Zephyrhills, Fla. and has claimed her prize.
She decided to take the lump sum payout of $370 million before taxes. Officials say that she is the biggest lottery winner in US history.
While everyone was wondering who the winner was, she had known all along. She told lottery officials that she had watched the drawing and knew she had won that night.
Apparently a woman had let Mackenzie cut in front of her in line at the Publix supermarket when she bought the ticket, according to Florida Lottery Secretary Cythia O’Connell. O’Connell also confirmed the suspicions that Mackenzie had consulted with financial advisors before taking the money.
“This is a very large amount of money, it changes your life,” O’Connell said to NBC News. “I believe to make sure that they were ready to handle the responsibilities that comes with that kind of a jackpot win.”
It is a crazy thought to Mayor Dave Walters that Mackenzie was able to keep the jackpot win such a closely guarded secret for this long, since Zephyrhills is a town with a population of approximately 13,337.
“It’s hard to keep a secret in this town, but this is one of the biggest mysteries we’ve had in a long, long time,” he said in an interview pre-reveal of the winner.
But the town can now breathe a sigh of relief that Mackenzie has now stepped forward to claim her prize. Best wishes go to her and her family!