Monday, December 2 2013 – Gloria MacKenzie, the winner of the single largest lottery prize in American history, has made her first donation to a Maine high school after pledging nearly $2 million to the cause back in July.
Octogenarian Gloria, who won the $590.5 million Powerball jackpot on Friday May 18, has steered clear of media attention since accepting her cash lump sum of $370.9 million (before taxes) in early June, but this recent act of goodwill has propelled her back into the spotlight.
Powerball winner Gloria MacKenzie (image from AP)
After hearing that the dilapidated Scheck High School could face closure due to ongoing repair issues, Gloria sent a message of intent to Superintendent Quenten Clark via her family members shortly after her jackpot win, where she pledged to donate $1.8 million to the school fund.
“It’s really good of the family to do,” Board of Selectmen Chair Gary McLeod said shortly after the meeting.
The $1 million check was officially delivered to Clark’s office last Monday by Gloria’s son Scott MacKenzie, with whom Gloria shared her mammoth prize. There has been no official comment from either Gloria, Scott or any other member of the family regarding the donation, although it is understood the remainder of the funds will follow in the New Year.
“It’s a little different. It doesn’t happen every day,” Clark told reporters for the Bangor Daily News upon receiving the check. “It’s a great thing. What can I say?”
The money will be used to make repairs to the 56 year old school’s roof and improve the buildings compliance with the Americans With Disabilities Act. It is also thought that the money could save the school from closure, after reports back in January suggested the repairs required were simply too costly to the small community of East Millinocket, Maine.
Gloria herself has close connections with East Millinocket, having raised four of her children there before moving to Zephryhills, Florida, upon her retirement. Her daughter, Melinda MacKenzie, still lives in East Millinocket and is a biology teacher at the very school Gloria has pledged to save.
Since her win, Gloria’s main extravagance has been to move from her $30,000 tin shack duplex to a $1.2 million, 6,322 square foot five bedroom home on a gated gold course community in Jacksonville. She also reportedly paid out over $2,600 for 180 patrons to enjoy a free lunch at a local restaurant named Buddy Freddy’s back in June.
In Other Lottery News
Tomorrow night’s Mega Millions jackpot is estimated at a mega $257 million after rolling over last Friday. Visit aLottery.com to stay up to date with the latest results and news from all around America.