Woman Who Let Powerball Winner Cut in Line Has No Regrets

This May 19, 2013 file photo shows the Publix supermarket in Zephyrhills, Fla., where a Powerball jackpot ticket worth an estimated $590.5 million was sold. No one has claimed the jackpot and residents wondering if there is a multimillionaire in this small community about 30 miles northeast of Tampa. Credit: AP

It is theoretically possible that graciously allowing someone to cut in line could cost you millions of dollars.

That’s exactly what happened when Mindy Crandell, 34, let one woman get in front of her in line. That woman, 84-year-old widow Gloria C. Mackenzi, went on to purchase a winning ticket worth $590.5 million.

But Crandell is not upset that her act of kindness likely came at a potential multi-million dollar cost. The humble woman says “things are meant to be for a reason.”

“While in line at Publix, another lottery player was kind enough to let me go ahead of them in line to purchase the winning Quick Pick ticket,” Mackenzi said in a statement Wednesday.

Crandell, of Zephyrhills, Fla., was also in line to buy lottery tickets at Publix on May 18.

“My 10-year-old said, ‘Mom, There’s a lady in front of us.’ I noticed that the lady was there. Didn’t pay a lot of mind to it,” Crandall said.

The cashier at the counter attempted to allow Crandell to retake her rightful place in line, but the woman decline and allowed the 84-year-old buy her tickets first.

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Ironically, Crandell’s friends and family started teasing her, saying the woman she allowed to cut in line was going to win big in 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.

And then it actually happened.

So what do we know about the actual winner?

MacKenzie is a retiree from Maine and a mother of four who lives in a modest, tin-roof house in Zephyrhills, Fla., where the lone winning ticket in the May 18 drawing was sold. She took her prize in a lump sum of just over $370 million. After federal taxes, she is getting about $278 million, lottery officials said.

The $590 million was the second-largest lottery jackpot in history, behind a $656 million Mega Millions prize in March 2012, but that sum was split, with three winning tickets.

“We are grateful with this blessing of winning the Florida Lottery Powerball jackpot,” she said in a statement read by lottery officials. “We hope that everyone would give us the opportunity to maintain our privacy for our family’s benefit.”

Woman Who Let Powerball Winner Cut in Line Has No Regrets

Powerball winner Gloria C. Mackenzie, 84, left, leaves the lottery office escorted by her son, Scott Mackenzie, after claiming a single lump-sum payment of about $370.9 million before taxes on Wednesday, June 5, 2013, in Tallahassee, Fla. Officials say she is the largest sole lottery winner in U.S. history. She did not speak to reporters outside lottery headquarters, leaving in a silver Ford Focus with family members. Credit: AP

The Associated Press contributed to this report.