July 19, 2013 – The first thing many lottery winners do when they strike it rich is buy a house, or at least pay off their mortgage. Gloria Mackenzie is no different from the rest, except perhaps in scale.
That’s because Mackenzie was the winner of the largest jackpot in American history to go to only one person. She won $590.5 million, and chose to take a $371 million cash option that totaled about $278 million after taxes.
With all that money burning a hole in the 84-year-old’s pocket, it was only a matter of time before Mackenzie popped up on the radar with a big purchase.
And her $1,175,000 new home in Jacksonville certainly qualifies. Mackenzie traded up from the small, tin-roof rancher she rented in Zephyrhills, Fla., to a 6,322 sq. ft. home with five bedrooms.
Mackenzie’s new digs sit lakeside in gated golf course community called Glen Kernan Country Club.
The Tampa Bay Times reported that the deed to the house was transferred to Melinda Mackenzie, presumably Gloria’s daughter, who teaches high school in the small papermill town of East Millinocket, Maine.
According to the Times Mackenzie’s sister-in-law says she hasn’t seen the big winner’s daughter in East Millinocket since her mother hit the jackpot.
Also missing is Mackenzie’s neighbor and friend Jorge Trapero, who lived in the apartment adjacent to hers.
A Times reporter spoke with a power company employee, who said he’d just cut off the power to Trapero’s apartment, and that Mackenzie’s went dark a few weeks ago.
Family, friends, and even Mackenzie’s new neighbor have been quiet about Mackenzie since news of her historic win, and Mackenzie herself has successfully avoided the spotlight.
Even the family that sold her the new home in Jacksonville said they didn’t meet Mackenzie – lawyers for her trust handled the deal.
So until the 84-year-old buys a sports car, an enormous yacht, or dinner for an entire restaurant – we’ll all just have to assume she’s living the dream.