Gloria C. Mackenzie leaves Florida Lottery headquarters after claiming her $590M Powerball jackpot. Photo courtesy The Associated Press
Zephyrhills, FL -- We now know who the Powerball winner is from the May 18 drawing and neighbors say it could not have happened to a nicer lady.
"Her? She's a wonderful neighbor," said George Trapiro of his duplex neighbor, Gloria Mackenzie.
At about 2:30 p.m. lottery officials in Florida announced Mackenzie had won the largest single-ticket lottery jackpot in U.S. history.
A few things we already know about Gloria Mackenzie: she's 84, and, aside from the fact that she's now loaded, she apparently knows how to keep a secret too.
Neighbors say Mackenzie never let on over the past two and a half weeks that anything had changed. In fact, come to think of it, they say they'd seen a lot less of her since the May 18 drawing. Go figure.
"She's so quiet, I didn't really notice," said neighbor James Hill. "And now it makes sense."
"Gloria? My neighbor???" screamed Dawn Gourlay.
Gourlay was shaking when she heard the news of Gloria's good fortune.
She'd talk with McKenzie regularly when the elderly woman would take her daily walk down the small dirt road between their houses.
"She's just a sweet little old lady who tries... just trying to live, is all," said Gourlay.
Neighbors describe Mackenzie as friendly and quiet. Just the sort of neighbor you'd like to have. Her modest duplex is a stone's throw from a cow pasture in Zephyrhills.
But with $370 million -- the amount of the one-time lump sum payment now burning a hole in her pocket -- they wish her well, figuring she probably won't be their neighbor very much longer.
"I hope she has more fun than she's ever had," said neighbor Don Cecil, "and I hope she don't stay there."
"The best for her. The best for everything," said Trapiro.
"Congratulations," said James Hill, Enjoy the money."