SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Nation/World

June 6, 2013

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

(Continued)

“They had clearly been preparing for this. They took all this time to get everything in order,” Bishop said.

Minutes after the announcement, a dozen reporters in Zephyrhills were camped outside MacKenzie’s gray duplex, which backs up to a dirt alley and is across from a cow pasture.

Neighbors were surprised by her good fortune.

“She didn’t say anything about it. She’s so quiet and secluded. She’s usually in the house,” said James Hill. “I’m very happy for her. It couldn’t have happened to a nicer person. She was always pleasant and smiling.”

Another neighbor, Don Cecil, joked, “I hope she gets a better place to live.”

MacKenzie’s neighbors offered few details about her life. They said she mostly kept to herself, but they saw her take short walks along the street and exchanged pleasantries with her.

Her house, situated among mostly mobile homes and pre-fabricated houses, has a chain-link fence with a sheet-metal roof and an old TV antenna.

MacKenzie retired to Zephyrhills more than a decade ago from rural Maine with her husband, Ralph, who died in 2005.

Back in her hometown of East Millinocket, Maine, relatives and friends were surprised to hear of her good fortune.

Robert MacKenzie, Ralph’s brother, said the couple met just after World War II after Ralph got out of the Navy. He went to work in the town’s paper mill, laboring as a technician for almost four decades.

He said the couple raised four children in East Millinocket, a town of under 2,000 people in northern Maine. A daughter and son still live in East Millinocket, another son lives in Florida and another daughter lives out of state, possibly in Massachusetts, he said.

Robert MacKenzie said he didn’t know his sister-in-law had won until a reporter called him.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Nation/World

Local News
  • Keenan to resign to take Salem State job

    SALEM — State Rep. John Keenan said Tuesday he will resign from office Aug. 24 to take a new job as vice president of administration at Salem State University.
    His announcement ended months of speculation about where the five-term Democrat would end up after leaving the Legislature. As it turns out, he is leaving four months before his term would have expired.

    July 29, 2014

  • Axe in Windshield Close call on I-95 in Topsfield when loose ax chops through windshield

    TOPSFIELD — Some motorists on Interstate 95 southbound had a scary moment Wednesday around 11 a.m. when a loose ax flew off a landscaper dump truck in front of them and cleaved partly through their car's windshield.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Chism attorney challenging legislation

    DANVERS -- The attorney for the Danvers teen charged with raping and murdering his math teacher last October is arguing that the 1996 state law requiring that he be tried as an adult is unconstitutional. The argument by Philip Chism's attorney comes

    July 30, 2014

  • 140729_SN_DLE_PATROL4 Party problems persist in Point SALEM -- 'Tis the season for parties in the Point. Three years after a large Fourth of July gathering in the densely inhabited neighborhood led to a violent confrontation between partygoers and police, Chief Paul Tucker says his department continues

    July 30, 2014 3 Photos

  • lottery.jpg 'Lucky' Salem store sells $15M lottery ticket

    SALEM -- An anonymous person used a trust to claim a $15 million grand prize Tuesday from a $30 scratch ticket bought at a local corner store. It is the largest instant "scratch and win" prize ever in the state's history. Nicole's Food Store at 406

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo