US grandmother hits £385m jackpot
Published on 07 June 2013 11:30 AM
Another person's politeness enabled an 84-year-old widow to win the biggest individual lottery prize in history.
Mother-of-four Gloria MacKenzie, who lives in a modest, tin-roof house in Zephyrhills, Florida, won the 590 million dollar (£385 million) jackpot.
But instead of taking 30 annual payments of over £12 million a year, she took her prize in a lump sum of more than 370 million dollars (£242 million).
Mrs MacKenzie bought a Powerball ticket on May 18 in a supermarket in her home city of Zephyrhills, Florida.
The lottery winner, who lives in a humble, tin-roof house, said she bought the ticket after another buyer 'was kind enough to let me go ahead in line'.
It is not known if Mrs MacKenzie plans to track down the stranger to hand over a share of the prize.
Mrs MacKenzie let the lottery computers randomly generate the numbers.
She asked everyone to respect her family's privacy.
The 590 million dollar prize is the second-largest lottery jackpot in history, behind a 656 million-dollar Mega Millions prize in March last year, but that sum was shared between three winners.
The UK's oldest announced lottery winner
In the UK we can't always be certain about the ages of lottery jackpot winners, because, unlike America's Powerball, they can protect their anonymity.
But the oldest announced lottery winner is Reginald Smith, 85, from Uttoxeter in Staffordshire, who won £2.3 million in 2003.
He reportedly told the BBC: 'I would have liked it to have happened about 20 or 30 years ago, but there you are.'
The oldest winner worldwide is Nguyen Van Het, from Vietnam, who won 7.6 billion Vietnamese Dong (around £235,000) in 2010.
He was 97 years old at the time of the win, and said he wanted to upgrade his shack, buy a TV and eat some meat.
History suggests that older people are best placed to enjoy their lottery winnings as they have enough experience to put the windfall into perspective.
Reports show that the UK's younger lottery winners have not always had an easy time of it.
Copyright Press Association 2013