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$590M Powerball: Mindy Crandell Let Lottery Winner Cut Ahead in Line

By Michael Mullins   |   Thursday, 06 Jun 2013 03:00 PM

Imagine learning that the person you allowed to cut in front of you on a lottery line wound up winning a $590.5 million Powerball jackpot.

That's exactly what happened to 34-year-old Mindy Crandell of Zephyrhills, Fla.

While waiting to purchase a Powerball ticket on May 18, Crandell says she watched as 84-year-old mother of four, Gloria Mackenzie, stepped in front of her while Crandell tended to one of her daughters at the local Publix supermarket.

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"My 10-year-old said, 'Mom, there's a lady in front of us,'" Crandall told ABC's Good Morning America. "I noticed that the lady was there. Didn't pay a lot of mind to it."

According to Crandell, the woman at the counter then stopped Mackenzie to allow Crandell to reclaim her spot, to which Crandell waved the soon-to-be jackpot winner on, telling her to "go ahead."

Mackenzie proceeded to purchase one Quick Pick Powerball ticket and left the store.

After she returned home, Crandell told her family and friends about the encounter and they reportedly began to tease her that the lady was probably going to be the Powerball jackpot 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 told Good Morning America.

Crandell's 10-year-old daughter, Mallory, recognized Mackenzie on Wednesday when she claimed the money.

"My daughter was like, 'Mom, look at the lady,'" Crandell said. "Same day, same store. What's the chances of that happening?"

Though Mackenzie has yet to issue a public statement, she did ask a lottery official to read a prepared remark in which she confirmed Crandell's story.

As for whether she holds any grudge for the way things turned out, Crandell says no.
"Things are meant to be for a reason," Crandell said, adding that she hopes the money "truly blesses [Mackenzie's] family."

"It could have been us, but things happen," Crandell added. "Sometimes it's better to be patient than right. I knew we were teaching our daughter the right thing."

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In a statement to ABC News, Mackenzie's attorney William P. Brant, denied interview requests telling the media that the family wishes to "maintain their privacy."

According to lottery officials, the octogenarian Powerball winner elected to receive a lump sum cash payout of $370.8 million, before taxes, as opposed to 30 annual payments of $19 million.

The winner has yet to disclose her intentions for the money.

Related stories:

$338M Powerball Winner Owes $29,000 in Child Support

Woman wins $40M — Not $40K as She First Believed — in Canadian Lotto

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Mindy Crandell, 34, of Zephyrhills, Fla., allowed 84-year-old Gloria Mackenzie to cut in front of her on the lottery line last month. Mackenzie would go on to purchase the winning $590.5 million Powerball jackpot ticket.
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