Gloria C. Mackenzie (in pink), with son Scott Mackenzie
06/06/2013 at 07:55 AM EDT
Gloria C. Mackenzie can thank the kindness of a stranger for helping her land the $590 million Powerball bonanza.
After staying quiet for two weeks, Mackenzie, 84, of Zephyrhills, Fla., claimed the jackpot Wednesday, revealing that another lottery player at her local Publix supermarket could easily have won in her place.
"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," Mackenzie said in a statement, according to ABC News
"We are grateful for this blessing of winning the Florida jackpot," she added. "We hope that everyone will give us an opportunity to maintain our privacy for our family's benefit."
Mackenzie, a widow who raised four children with her husband Ralph in East Millinocket, Maine, will take a lump-sum cash payout of $370.8 million before taxes, instead of 30 annual payments of $19 million, lottery officials said.
She is believed to be the largest sole lottery jackpot winner in U.S. history.