Old Habits Appear to Die Hard for 84-year-old Lottery Winner Gloria Mackenzie

Gloria-Mackenzie

According to the Daily Mail, the great-grandmother from Zephyrhills, Fla., who won $590 million on the lottery two weeks ago, is still being driven around in her son’s gold Ford Focus and shopping at Wal-Mart. Instead of spending her fortune on lavish dinners, she’s eating at local crab shacks and taking her leftovers home in doggie bags.

Mackenzie, the biggest Powerball winner in U.S. history, plans to share her winnings with her son Scott, 57, who was with her when she bought the winning $2 ticket at a local supermarket. Scott lives nearby with his partner Jerry Cruz, 65.

Before claiming her fortune, Mackenzie lived in a modest $30,000 bungalow in Zephyrhills, Fla. (She had been been forced out of the trailer park she called home for 25 years prior to that.) Mackenzie is currently staying in a hotel while construction of her new luxury home is completed in Jacksonville. She’s been spotted around town with her son and Cruz.

According to Scott’s ex-wife, Ella, “The three of them are going to be living together. Scott wanted to move in with his mom because he worried about how she would cope on her own.”

It has been reported that Mackenzie and her son are currently in hiding as a result of the worldwide media attention they received following the win.

Winning the lottery has undoubtedly changed Mackenzie’s life in more ways than she may have imagined when she purchased that winning ticket. However, feeling the need to hide in order to have privacy is something that shouldn’t be necessary.

This story is one example of why the laws may need to be looked at again when it comes to providing lottery winners with anonymity. This winner should be able to not only continue shopping at her favorite stores, but also live the rest of her life the way she wants without needing to go into hiding in order to protect her privacy.