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Fla. widow, 84, claims $590M Powerball jackpot

TALLAHASSEE — An 84-year-old Florida widow who bought her Powerball ticket after another customer let her get ahead in line came forward Wednesday to claim the biggest undivided lottery jackpot in history: $590 million.

Gloria C. MacKenzie, a retiree from Maine and a mother of four who lives in a modest, tin-roof house in Zephyrhills, where the lone winning ticket in the May 18 drawing was sold, took her prize in a lump sum of just over $370 million. After federal taxes, she is getting about $270 million, lottery officials said.

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She did not speak to a crowd of reporters outside lottery headquarters, leaving quickly in a silver Ford Focus with her son and family friends. She was accompanied at the lottery offices by two unidentified attorneys.

MacKenzie bought the winning ticket at a Publix supermarket in the town of about 13,300 people 30 miles northeast of Tampa.

The $590 million was the second-largest lottery jackpot in history, behind a $656 million Mega Millions prize in March 2012. That sum was split, with three winning tickets.

In a statement read by lottery officials, MacKenzie said she purchased the ticket after another buyer ‘‘was kind enough to let me go ahead in line.’’ MacKenzie let the lottery computers generate the numbers at random. She said she also bought four other tickets for the drawing.

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