Powerball winner named in Florida

AFP-JIJI

An 84-year-old Florida woman has claimed the $590 million Powerball lottery, authorities said Wednesday, making her the winner of the largest individual jackpot in U.S. history.

Gloria Mackenzie’s name was divulged at a news conference in Tallahassee, ending two weeks of fevered speculation in the Sunshine State when no one came forward following the May 18 drawing for one of the largest lotteries ever. Mackenzie opted to take a lump-sum cash payment of $370.9 million, rather than receive the full winnings spread out over 30 years.

She purchased the winning ticket at a Publix supermarket in the city of Zephyrhills, 50 km northeast of Tampa, officials said.

A man standing in line at the Zephyrhills store offered to let Mackenzie go before him, and she drew what was later validated as the winning ticket.