Gloria MacKenzie, the 84-year-old Zephyrhills, Fla., woman who won the single largest Powerball jackpot in history, has a found a charitable way to spend part of her winnings. The winner of the record $590.5 million Powerball jackpot reportedly wants to donate $2 million to fix the roof of a high school in Maine.
MacKenzie, who won the $590.5 million Powerball jackpot in June, has largely avoided public attention since her lucky break. But Quenten Clark, superintendent of schools in East Millinocket, says she has offered to pay $2 million to fix the roof of the town’s high school. MacKenzie’s daughter teaches biology there, the Bangor Daily News reports.
“They want their privacy respected, so I don’t think they will have any comment publicly,” Clark told the Daily News. Clark added that family of MacKenzie have given him a “verbal assurance” that the Powerball lottery winner will commit a portion of her $370.9 million lump sum payout to the roof project.
Although she currently resides in Zephyrhills, MacKenzie used to live in East Millinocket, the Daily News reports. In addition to her daughter’s job as a local biology teacher, her son once served as a town selectman.
The high school’s roof dates back to 1957, and has required repairs since last year, the Daily News reports. In an interview with local NBC News affiliate WCSH, Clark explained the importance of MacKenzie’s $2 million donation. “I think without [the donation], the school was going to die,” Clark told WCSH.
This isn’t the first time that MacKenzie has been associated with an unsolicited donation. In June, customers at a Plant City, Fla., restaurant claimed that an elderly woman fitting her description had volunteered to cover the entire restaurant's dinner tab, at a value of nearly $2,600.
Still, MacKenzie is known to be averse to media attention. The 84-year-old never acknowledged picking up the restaurant tab, despite nearly 200 witnesses to the event. MacKenzie exhibited a similar reserve when claiming her $590.5 million Powerball jackpot, waiting nearly two weeks to claim her prize and declining to be interviewed by reporters.
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...