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Gloria Mackenzie, the Florida woman who won the $590.5 million Powerball jackpot, did not forget to thank another woman’s act of courtesy while claiming her prize.
In a statement quoted by CNN, after winning the lottery, the 84-year-old Mackenzie thanked another person for being kind enough to let her cut in line to purchase the winning ticket at the Publix supermarket in Zephyrhills, Fla., last month.
Mindy Crandell, the woman who let Mackenzie buy the ticket ahead of her, said she has no regrets that her generous action cost her a fortune, telling ABC News that “things are meant to be for a reason.”
Crandell explained that despite Mackenzie cutting in line, she was given an opportunity to reclaim her original spot by the lady at the counter. But, the 34-year-old Crandell refused the offer and since then has been teased by family and friends for giving away the chance to win the lottery.
"The joke was, that's the lady that's going to win it. I was like, 'Yeah right. No one is going to win from little Zephyrhills,'" Crandell said.
Crandell, who was accompanied by her 10-year-old daughter at the Publix supermarket, said she holds no ill-will towards Mackenzie. Instead, she hoped the money would bless her family.
Crandell added that this incident has helped her instill good values in her daughter. “It could have been us, but things happen. Sometimes it's better to be patient than rich. I knew we were teaching our daughter the right thing," she said.
Mackenzie, winner of the largest undivided lottery prize in history, has not revealed what she would do with the money. She opted for a one-time lump sum amount of $370.9 million before taxes, passing on the opportunity for a bigger payout spread over 30 years.
“We are grateful for this blessing of winning the Florida Lottery Powerball jackpot and appreciate the interest of the public, the state of Florida and the lottery. We hope that everyone will give us the opportunity to maintain our privacy for our family's benefit," Mackenzie said in a statement.
Keerthi Mohan is an IBTimes reporter covering entertainment and human interest stories.