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Mystery woman who paid $2,600 tab for strangers was not Powerball winner

Insider BuzzInsider Buzz: Mystery woman who paid $2,600 tab for strangers was not Powerball winner
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After 180 diners at a Florida restaurant received a free meal from a stranger on Sunday night, locals (and soon, the Internet) were buzzing that the generous benefactor was the 84-year-old woman who recently won the largest Powerball jackpot in history.

While the woman who picked up the nearly $2,600 tab at Buddy Freddy's in Plant City resembled lottery winner Gloria C. MacKenzie of nearby Zephyrhills, Fla., it turned out to simply be an anonymous kind soul helping the lucky diners hit their own little jackpot on the dinner bill.

"It was not her," Buddy Freddy's manager Stephanie Reaves said on Friday. "It turns out it was another angel to come in here and spend that kind of money."

The woman came with a younger man and another woman and ate a meal in the early evening on Sunday, according to Reaves. After leaving, they returned and the woman said she was picking up the tab for 180 diners while declining to give her name. She also left $50 tips for five servers as diners stood up and applauded and thanked her, which Reaves said she had never seen in her 35-year restaurant career. While the woman was still in the restaurant, Reaves and another employee pulled up a picture of MacKenzie online to see if it was the local woman who just claimed a $590 million jackpot.

"We looked for Miss Gloria online and it was not her," Reaves said. "She looked similar, but it wasn't her. We also went and asked the woman (if she was the Powerball winner), and she said no. Plus, you knew they weren't from around here. They had to be from the West or up North.

"The reason she bought so many meals is because she met so many nice people, and she wasn't used to that," Reaves explained. "Down South, we'll come up and hug you for no reason and are just friendly people. When they left and got down the road, I think they thought, 'Let's go back and bless those people."'

The real MacKenzie has not been in Buddy Freddy's before to Reaves's knowledge.

"She probably doesn't even know where we are," Reaves said. "She lives such a common life, she's probably scared to go out after winning."

Today

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24 comments. Last comment 3 years ago by jamella724.
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New York, NY
United States
Member #120649
December 24, 2011
67 Posts
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Posted: June 14, 2013, 6:49 pm - IP Logged

Like someone previously said, the manager might have been looking for free publicity for his restaurant


    United States
    Member #116268
    September 7, 2011
    20244 Posts
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    Posted: June 14, 2013, 7:00 pm - IP Logged

    No surprise here. I wasn't fooled for a minute. That lady is not going to be buying anyone's lunches.....

    eating them maybe, but NOT buying them.......

      Avatar
      Columbia, SC
      United States
      Member #135285
      November 21, 2012
      584 Posts
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      Posted: June 14, 2013, 7:39 pm - IP Logged

      No surprise here. I wasn't fooled for a minute. That lady is not going to be buying anyone's lunches.....

      eating them maybe, but NOT buying them.......

      ^^^^^ROFL!!!!!

      Oh, they would've KNOWN if it were GLORIA! She'd been the one breaking in line at the buffet counter.

      "If you can DREAM it, you can DO it!"- Walt Disney

        Avatar
        Hollywood, fl
        United States
        Member #140096
        March 10, 2013
        376 Posts
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        Posted: June 14, 2013, 8:11 pm - IP Logged

        It really could have been anyone, $2,600 is a bill that a lot of people can afford to pay its not like a million

          msharkey2001's avatar - Trek startrek.gif
          New Hampshire
          United States
          Member #136492
          December 12, 2012
          322 Posts
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          Posted: June 14, 2013, 8:16 pm - IP Logged

          ^^^^^ROFL!!!!!

          Oh, they would've KNOWN if it were GLORIA! She'd been the one breaking in line at the buffet counter.

          Green laugh

            Avatar
            Keokuk,Iowa
            United States
            Member #116504
            September 12, 2011
            305 Posts
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            Posted: June 14, 2013, 8:38 pm - IP Logged

            In my part of the country if you go around hugging people for no reason they lock you away in the funny farm!

              loonasee2's avatar - ty789 zpsxdhaaskf.jpg
              Orangutan Forest
              United States
              Member #95128
              August 4, 2010
              12791 Posts
              Offline
              Posted: June 14, 2013, 9:29 pm - IP Logged

              A few more people ,...........should pass it forward ,......................it would be a little easier on the dance floor ,..doing the O'bomba to the IRS band,.........................wiggle,...wiggle......wiggle

              cashbuckets of cash

                Avatar

                Canada
                Member #138493
                January 28, 2013
                627 Posts
                Offline
                Posted: June 14, 2013, 9:46 pm - IP Logged

                Nice story...angels do exist !!!

                I WIN $5000 MONTHLY AND EASILY, PLAYING PICK 4 !

                JE SUIS UN GRAND GAGNANT ET JE VOIS GRAND !

                 

                 

                Start treating WINNING the lottery as a JOB...and then maybe you won't need a job !


                  United States
                  Member #124493
                  March 14, 2012
                  7023 Posts
                  Offline
                  Posted: June 14, 2013, 10:13 pm - IP Logged

                  It still could be her.  Who can you believe? I think todd needs to go down south and get to the bottom of this.

                  Its too coincidental.

                  "We asked her if it was her and she said no."  Oh that satisfies me.

                  Maybe she just wanted to remain anonymous?

                  With the incessant discussion about anonymity on LP, would you be suprised if she said no?

                  When you win the jackpot and people comes up to you and asks "are you the one who is just won 500 million" are you going to say yes to everybody?

                    luckyshoes's avatar - butterfly neg.jpg
                    Pennsylvania
                    United States
                    Member #79502
                    September 2, 2009
                    6395 Posts
                    Offline
                    Posted: June 14, 2013, 10:18 pm - IP Logged

                    Nice gesture in todays world. Yes Nod

                      lottoguysocal's avatar - atlantis dubai_1118783i.jpg
                      camarillo, ca
                      United States
                      Member #132476
                      September 4, 2012
                      144 Posts
                      Offline
                      Posted: June 15, 2013, 1:50 am - IP Logged

                      whomever the kind soul was, shows that are still nice people out in the world

                        dallascowboyfan's avatar - tiana the-princess-and-the-frog.jpg
                        Oklahoma
                        United States
                        Member #82391
                        November 12, 2009
                        6290 Posts
                        Offline
                        Posted: June 15, 2013, 9:32 am - IP Logged

                        An Angel indeedBlue Angel

                        I Love Pink & Green 1908

                          dallascowboyfan's avatar - tiana the-princess-and-the-frog.jpg
                          Oklahoma
                          United States
                          Member #82391
                          November 12, 2009
                          6290 Posts
                          Offline
                          Posted: June 15, 2013, 9:33 am - IP Logged

                          ^^^^^ROFL!!!!!

                          Oh, they would've KNOWN if it were GLORIA! She'd been the one breaking in line at the buffet counter.

                          Green laugh

                          I Love Pink & Green 1908

                            ShowMeTheMoney$'s avatar - Lottery-050.jpg

                            United States
                            Member #140525
                            March 21, 2013
                            119 Posts
                            Offline
                            Posted: June 15, 2013, 11:13 am - IP Logged

                            Kindness is its own reward Banana