Wednesday January 29 2014 – Gloria MacKenzie, the biggest lottery winner of all time, has shunned suggestions to rename a beneficiary school in her honour. The retired widow from Maine, New England, generously donated $1.8 million of her $370.9 million lump sum to Schenck High School, where MacKenzieâ€™s daughter teaches Biology, but has expressed her disinterest in inspiring a new school moniker.
The school, located in MacKenzieâ€™s hometown of East Millinocket, is currently named after founder Garret Schenck Jr, but local resident Paul Baker recently submitted an official proposal to the schoolâ€™s committee suggesting a name change reflecting Gloria MacKenzieâ€™s substantial donation. Baker, a retired mill worker, argued that the name change would not only honour MacKenzieâ€™s generosity, but also improve community spirit regarding the school. Baker believes the current moniker is widely ridiculed due to its discernible similarity to the offensive slang term â€˜skankâ€™.
When asked about the issue, Baker said; â€˜[the name] is causing some of our graduates, when asked the name of the high school from which they graduated, [to] tell those asking that they graduated from East Millinocket High School rather than from Schenck High School so as to not to be ridiculed.â€™ Baker proposed that a less risquÃ© name would facilitate a feeling of pride for the school, rather than embarrassment.
However, in a rare statement released by Gloria MacKenzieâ€™s son, Scott MacKenzie said; â€œI donâ€™t know how many times I have to say it, but we donâ€™t want the name changed. Period.â€ It remains unclear why the MacKenzieâ€™s are vehemently against the name change although local consensus also seems to lean toward keeping the schoolâ€™s original name. Â Despite their disinterest, the school board have plans to review the idea during a meeting on Tuesday, February 4th.