Woman Who Let Powerball Winner Go Ahead of Her Has No Regrets
(NEW YORK) -- When Gloria C. Mackenzie claimed her $590.5 million Powerball jackpot, she released a statement revealing that another woman "was kind enough" to allow her to cut in line when she purchased the winning ticket.
That woman, Mindy Crandell, 34, is not upset that her charitable gesture likely cost her an enormous fortune and says "things are meant to be for a reason."
Crandell, of Zephyrhills, Fla., was in line to purchase lottery tickets in Publix on May 18 while tending to one of her two daughters, when Mackenzie, 84, stepped in front of her.
"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 lady at the counter stopped Mackenzie to allow Crandell to reclaim her spot in line. Crandell declined the offer and told Mackenzie "go ahead." It was a move that could have potentially cost the Crandells the $590.5 million Powerball ticket. Mackenzie purchased one Quick Pick ticket and left the store.
Crandell said family and friends began teasing her that the lady she allowed to cut in line was going to win the mega jackpot. But Crandell thought there was no way the lady was going to be the winner.
"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.
Later that night, Mackenzie matched all five numbers, including the Powerball, while Crandell was at home still being teased by family members that the lady in the line was probably the winner. It was a joke that she would endure for the next two weeks.
When Mackenzie claimed the money on Wednesday, Crandell's 10-year-old daughter, Mallory, immediately recognized her from Publix.
"My daughter was like, 'Mom, look at the lady,'" Crandell said. "Same day, same store. What's the chances of that happening?"
Mackenzie has not disclosed her plans for the money. In a statement to ABC News, William P. Brant, Mackenzie's attorney, denied requests for an interview and said the family wants to "maintain their privacy."
Mackenzie has opted for the lump sum cash payout of $370.8 million, before taxes, instead of 30 annual payments of $19 million, a lottery official said.
Crandell holds no ill-will toward Mackenzie and hopes the money "truly blesses her family." The one thing Crandell did gain from the incident was a lesson she hopes her daughters learned.
"It could have been us, but things happen. Sometimes it's better to be patient than right. I knew we were teaching our daughter the right thing," Crandell said.
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