When 84-year-old Gloria Mackenzie from Zephyrhills, Fla. was announced as the winner of the $590.5 million Powerball jackpot, another local woman realized just how close she had been to purchasing Mackenzie’s winning ticket.
Mindy Crandell, 34, was in line at the Publix convenience store on May 18 when an elderly woman cut in front of her while Crandell was tending to her daughter. The cashier offered Crandell her place back, but she allowed the elderly woman to go before her.
"My 10-year-old said, 'Mom, there's a lady in front of us,'" Crandall said. "I noticed that the lady was there. Didn't pay a lot of mind to it."
Both women purchased lottery tickets and left.
Crandell said her family and friends teased that the woman had bought the winning ticket.
“The joke was, that's the lady that's going to win it," Crandell said. "I was like, 'Yeah right. No one is going to win from little Zephyrhills.'"
But then, when it was announced that the ticket had been won in Zephyrhills at that convenience story on May 18, Crandell and her family were left to wonder with the rest of the town for two weeks who was the lucky winner.
On Wednesday, when Powerball announced the winner was Mackenzie, Crandell’s 10-year-old daughter immediately recognized her as the woman who took their place in line at the store. In a statement from Mackenzie, she revealed that another woman "was kind enough" to let her cut in line.
Though Crandell missed out on the jackpot, she harbors no ill feelings toward Mackenzie.
"Things are meant to be for a reason," Crandell said. "It could have been us, but things happen. Sometimes it's better to be patient than right. I knew we were teaching our daughter the right thing."