A Florida woman who took home a $278 million jackpot after winning the Powerball six years ago is suing her son and financial advisers, claiming the money was put into low-return investments while she was being charged $2 million in fees.
Gloria Mackenzie, 90, filed a lawsuit last month in Jacksonville against her son, Scott, and the financial advisers he chose, alleging breach of fiduciary duty, breach of contract, negligence and exploitation of a vulnerable adult. Scott Mackenzie had power of attorney over his mother’s finances.
In May 2013, Gloria Mackenzie, then 84 years old, purchased a winning Powerball ticket worth $590 million at a Publix supermarket in Zephyrhills. After agreeing to get a lump sum and deducting taxes, she took home $278 million, giving half to her son who, in return, promised to care for her for the rest of her life, the lawsuit stated. Before she won the nine-figure jackpot, Gloria was a widow who had modest savings, scant education in money management and relied on her son for help, according to the Sun-Sentinel.
The low-return investments in CDs and money market accounts cost her tens of millions of dollars that she could have earned with another investment strategy, the lawsuit said. In court papers, Scott Mackenzie said in court papers that his mother’s claims "are based solely on allegations that Scott introduced Gloria to an investment adviser who put her in conservative investment vehicles, in accordance with her chosen investment objectives, and effectively preserved her wealth.”
A judge previously dismissed a similar lawsuit but allowed Gloria Mackenzie to file the amended complaint.
When Gloria Mackenzie won the jackpot, she was the “largest sole lottery winner in U.S. history,” the Florida Times-Union reported. It was not immediately clear how much of her jackpot she has left.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.