90-Year-Old Powerball Jackpot Winner Sues Son, Says Her Money Was Invested Poorly

By Jack Phillips
Jack Phillips
Jack Phillips
Senior Reporter
Jack Phillips is a reporter at The Epoch Times based in New York.
April 11, 2019 Updated: April 11, 2019

A 90-year-old Florida Powerball winner is filing a lawsuit against her son and his financial advisers, saying that the money was put into poor investments.

Gloria Mackenzie, who won $278 million six years ago, filed the suit in Jacksonville against her son, Scott Mackenzie, and his financial advisers, reported The Associated Press on April 11.

She alleged that Scott and his advisers made a breach of fiduciary duty, breach of contract, were negligent, and exploited a vulnerable adult. At the time, Scott had power of attorney over the elderly woman’s finances.

In 2013, Gloria Mackenzie won a $590 million Powerball jackpot. Six years later, she no longer lives in her million-dollar Jacksonville home and a lawsuit claims her son and others mismanaged her money.

Posted by The Florida Times-Union on Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Gloria said she had poor education in managing such a large amount of cash and had to rely on her son.

Jacksonville.com reported that she also alleged that Scott and his investment manager both lived off her money while poorly investing it.

Overall, Gloria Mackenzie claimed she suffered $10 million in damages, Jacksonville.com reported, adding that her son’s actions were not performed in good faith.

Scott, at one point, purchased a 6,300-square-foot home with five bedrooms in Glen Kernan County Club for $1.2 million, reported News4Jax. He moved his mother in with him, but she is now living in Pennsylvania.

“You don’t have to know anything more than a branch manager at a bank to come back with some significant returns,” Gregory Anderson, her lawyer, was quoted by the local news website as saying. “At the same time, he [the investment manager] was charging my lady, age 90 and in ill health, $2 million in fees.”

The woman accepted her $590 million dollar jackpot in 2013.

Posted by WJXT4 The Local Station / News4JAX on Thursday, April 11, 2019

Mackenzie should have seen “tens of millions of dollars” in returns after the investment adviser was hired, he said before adding that the adviser wasn’t qualified. News4Jax identified him as Hank Madden.

The investments “just sat there earning nothing” while Madden charged large amounts for his services, reported Jacksonville.com

The lawsuit also claimed that Madden didn’t “invest the funds in an appropriate mix of investments, did very little trading and mostly invested in debt instruments, most of which, once purchased, sat in the accounts and the value of which was used to compute fees for Madden, all of which was known to Scott who did nothing to correct the situation,” reported News4Jax.

Anderson told Jacksonville.com that the bad investments took place after Gloria Mackenzie fell down and injured herself and wasn’t moved to a nursing home.

“She … ends up living with another of her children outside of Jacksonville,” Anderson added. “The sad thing is Gloria could buy every assisted-living facility in Jacksonville.”

It’s unclear how much money Mackenzie has left.

Powerball lottery tickets in front of the splash screen for the powerball.com website in Washington on Jan. 10, 2016. (Karen Bleier/AFP/Getty Images)

Anderson said it took her years to figure out that she had been allegedly bilked, Jacksonville.com reported. Her daughter informed her that Madden faced a penalty, and Scott Mackenzie then allegedly threatened to disinherit them, the lawsuit said, noted AP.

In a statement, Scott Mackenzie’s lawyer, Lee Wedekind III, said he will contest the suit.

“Mr. MacKenzie is deeply disappointed with his family members’ decisions and their motivations in bringing this lawsuit, but is equally confident that the truth will ultimately prevail. Although he strongly disagrees with the allegations that have been made, he will respect his family’s privacy by reserving any further comments until the case has been concluded,” Wedekind told News4Jax.

The elderly woman is asking for a trial by jury.

According to Jacksonville.com, Mackenzie took home $278 million after taxes on a $590 million Powerball ticket, purchasing the winning ticket at a Publix supermarket in Zephyrhills.

Jack Phillips
Jack Phillips
Senior Reporter
Jack Phillips is a reporter at The Epoch Times based in New York.