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Q&A: Powerball, Simpson judge

That's the ticket

A while back, an elderly lady in Florida won $590.5 million in the Powerball jackpot. She bought the winning ticket after somebody let her cut in line. If they hadn't, they might have won the money. Did she give them a monetary reward?

There have been no reports of Gloria C. MacKenzie rewarding Mindy Crandell, who didn't say anything when the 84-year-old MacKenzie stepped in front of her at a Publix in Zephyrhills on May 18. "I don't know that she was intentionally cutting," Crandell said at the time, "or maybe she didn't realize she did it."

MacKenzie issued a written statement when she went to claim her winnings in early June, referring to Crandell, 34, without calling her by name. "While in line, another lottery player was kind enough to let me go ahead of them in line to purchase the winning Quick Pick ticket."

Lottery spokesman David Bishop said MacKenzie's purchase likely wouldn't have affected the lottery outcome for Crandell. "Each lottery terminal has its own random number generator and there are a lot of factors," he said. "If there was even a millisecond difference in the time between key strokes at the terminal, it would have changed the numbers."

MacKenzie chose to take the lump sum payment of $370 million, before taxes, and has moved to the Jacksonville area. Crandell has said she's not upset. "I mean, maybe … she needed it more than we did," Crandell told WTSP-Ch. 10. "Whatever it was, it was meant to be that she had it.

"It could have been us, but things happen," she told Ch. 10. "Sometimes it's better to be patient than right. I knew we were teaching our daughter the right thing."

Ito the Itinerant

I was watching a trial recently in which the judge was respectful of the jurors' time, kept the trial moving and the courtroom under control. This brings to mind Judge Lance Ito in the O.J. Simpson trial. What happened to Ito? I don't think I've heard about him since that trial.

Ito, who was the judge in Simpson's murder trial in 1995, was a Superior Court judge in Los Angeles until April 2012, when budget cuts closed 55 courtrooms throughout Los Angeles County. Ito now goes where he's needed, filling in for sick judges or "reviewing petitions from life-term prisoners in a courtroom stripped of chairs in the jury box and witness stand," the Orange County (Calif.) Register reported.

"I have no staff, no bailiff, no court reporter and I have to persuade friendly clerks to enter minute orders," Ito told the paper. "There's no heat in here and the furniture has been cannibalized."

In February 2012, Ito told "I'm married to the same woman, live in the same neighborhood, drive the same car, but looking forward to retirement in the not too distant future."

Compiled from Times and wire reports. To submit a question, email

Q&A: Powerball, Simpson judge 09/19/13 [Last modified: Thursday, September 19, 2013 4:01pm]
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