Washington: An 84-year old woman from Florida has won the $ 590.5 million Powerball lottery, the second largest US jackpot, officials have announced.
Gloria Mackenzie opted to take a lump-sum cash payment of somewhat smaller amount of $ 370.9 million, rather than receiving the full winnings spread out over 30 years, Florida Lottery Secretary Cynthia O'Connell said at a news conference in Tampa yesterday.
Mackenzie purchased the winning ticket at a Publix supermarket in the small city of Zephyrhills, 48 kilometers northeast of Tampa, officials said.
The jackpot had been touted by lottery officials as "the largest in the 21-year history of the game."
The two-dollar tickets are sold in supermarkets, convenience stores and service stations across 42 US states, the capital Washington and the US Virgin Islands.
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, the lottery official said.
A statement from Mackenzie said she would split the money with her son. "We bought the winning ticket as a single ticket even though we bought four other tickets before the drawing. 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," she said.
The Powerball website put the odds of winning at one in 175,223,510, far less likely that the chance of getting struck by lightning in the United States which, according the National Lightning Safety Institute, is about one chance in 280,000.