Gloria C. MacKenzie, the 84-year-old winner of the record-setting $590 million Powerball jackpot, is already being very generous with her money. At least, that’s what customers at a Plant City, Fla., restaurant were led to believe after a mysterious woman covered their dinner tab.
Nearly 200 customers at BuddyFreddy’s, a restaurant in Plant City, Fla., were treated to dinner by a woman who closely resembled MacKenzie, the Tampa Bay Times reports. MacKenzie, an 84-year-old resident of Zephyrhills, Fla., recently rose to fame after claiming a $590 million Powerball jackpot, which amounted to the single largest payout in American lottery history.
However, BuddyFreddy’s customers aren’t completely sure that their mysterious benefactor was actually MacKenzie; they merely assumed that the woman’s close resemblance to MacKenzie and unexpected generosity were commensurate to the Zephyrhills Powerball winner. Nevertheless, Plant City is abuzz with speculation about the woman’s true identity.
"It sure looked like her," BuddyFreddy’s manager, Stephanie Reaves, told the Times. “She looked like the woman on TV.”
Reaves claims that the MacKenzie-lookalike was accompanied by another woman and a younger man, the Times reports. The woman ate her dinner and left the restaurant around 4 p.m., only to return and offer to cover the tab for 180 customers.
The dinner tab wasn’t cheap; the bill amounted to nearly $2,600, the Times reports. The mysterious woman even gave an additional $50 to each of the restaurant’s five servers.
“Everybody got up and applauded and started hugging her,” Reaves told the Times. “In my 35 years in the restaurant industry, I’ve never seen anything like it.”
Reaves added that she asked the woman if she was indeed the winner of the $590 Powerball jackpot. “She said she wasn’t the one who won, but she sure fit the description.”
Even if MacKenzie did show up to the Plant City restaurant, it’s possible that she’s denying her generosity in order to avoid additional media attention. The 84-year-old Zephyrhills restaurant waited several weeks to claim her $590 million in Powerball winnings, and refused to show up in person to her press conference.
Tom Barrabi is a reporter for the International Business Times. He graduated from Fairfield University in 2011, and has also written for Men's Fitness, Complex, GuySpeed, and...