The Luckiest States in America May Surprise You

Your odds of becoming a millionaire by winning a Powerball Jackpot are roughly 1 in 292 million. But, believe it or not, your chances improve depending on where you live. Focusing only on Powerball winners, these are the luckiest states in America. One tiny state has huge lottery payouts (page 10).

15. Iowa (TIE)

Powerball lottery numbers

Iowa’s taxes take a big cut from Powerball winners | Scott Olson/Getty Images

Number of Powerball winners: 8

Iowa has eight Powerball winners. But Hawkeye State residents also has some of the highest tax burdens in the U.S., so after Uncle Sam takes his cut, the state gets its money, leaving winners with a lot less.

Next: A cautionary tale about winning big.

15. West Virginia (TIE)

Powerball luckiest states -- West Virginia -- Jack Whittaker

Winning the lottery wasn’t so lucky for Jack Whittaker. | Scott Gries/Getty Images

Number of Powerball winners: 8

One West Virginian winner, Jack Whittaker, won nearly $315 million and took home roughly $114 million in 2002, but that was the beginning and end of his luck. Whittaker had nearly $550,000 in cash stolen from his car. Thieves reportedly stole $200,000 out of his car on another occasion. He also experienced personal tragedies, including the deaths of his daughter and granddaughter.

Next: This state produced the largest jackpot of all time.

15. California (TIE)

lottery check

A California winner shared the largest Powerball jackpot in history. | Mark Ralston/AFP/Getty Images

Number of Powerball winners: 8

The most populous U.S. state produced eight Powerball winners, including the largest in history, a $1.5 billion jackpot. However, winning isn’t everything it’s cracked up to be. In 1996, a California woman won a $1.3 million lottery and asked for a divorce, hiding her winnings from her husband. When her ex-husband found out, she had to hand over the money to him, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Next: A small state with big winnings

15. Connecticut (TIE)

Powerball lottery tickets

Connecticut is no stranger to Powerball winners. | Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

Number of Powerball winners: 8

Across the country from California, Connecticut has its fair share of Powerball winners. Winning the lottery helps level the playing field in the Nutmeg State. It has one of the biggest wealth gaps in the U.S., with the top 1% of the population earning more than four times as much as the rest.

Next: Don’t forget to take lottery advice from this state.

15. New Jersey (TIE)

NJ Lottery Ocean's 16

The Ocean’s 16 group in New Jersey took home a nice lottery prize in 2013. | New Jersey Lottery via Facebook

Number of Powerball winners: 8

The odds of winning the big prize are roughly 1 in 292 million, however, the odds of winning some prize money is about 1 in 25, according to the Powerball website. So check your ticket to see if you still won a prize. One group who didn’t forget to check was Ocean’s 16. In 2013, the New Jersey-based group shared a $448.4 million jackpot with two other winning tickets.

Next: One year was especially lucky in this state.

15. Rhode Island (TIE)


Rhode Island had two Powerball winner receive close to $250 million in 2012. | Paolofur/iStock/Getty Images

Number of Powerball winners: 8

In 2012, America’s smallest state crowned two Jackpot winners who accepted cash payouts of nearly $250 million. It also had a winner who received a $75.2 million cash prize in 2007. That pays for thousands of meals in Providence, an underrated foodie city.

Next: Winning the lottery is just one reason people are so happy in this state.

13. Nebraska (TIE)

Smiling people waving American flags and looking up in crowd

Being one of the luckiest states is one reason for Nebraskans to smile. | Martin Barraud/Getty Images

Number of Powerball winners: 10

Nebraska has some of the happiest residents in the U.S. The state spends roughly $11,000 per person, making it one of the states spending the most public funds per person. Its citizens are well taken care of.

Next: It pays to be wise when the lottery pays you.

13. Delaware (TIE)

Mega Millions Lottery ticket

Powerball and Mega Millions are both high-paying lotteries. | Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Number of Powerball winners: 10

Delaware’s 10 jackpot winners make it one of the luckiest states. It pays to be wise with your cash when you win the Powerball. Common advice to winners: Before you start writing checks, employ a financial team to help you establish a plan for how you’ll spend your money.

Next: This state is stingy with its residents’ earnings, including lottery winnings.

10. Kansas (TIE)

luckiest states for Powerball

Kansas has terrific lottery luck, but the state takes its share. | Pablo Blazquez Dominguez/Getty Images

Number of Powerball winners: 11

Kansas has produced 11 Powerball winners; if you’re one of them, we suggest you create a retirement plan. The state takes a portion of your social security check and also taxes all retirement income over $75,000. The largest win in recent history was a November 2009 jackpot worth $96.6 million, which translated to a $48.3 million cash payout.

Next: The first state to have a modern-day lottery

10. New Hampshire (TIE)

New Hampshire State House

New Hampshire weather is tough, but being one of the luckiest states is a nice trade-off. | Scott Eisen/Getty Images

Number of Powerball winners: 11

This small state has mammoth Powerball payouts. Among the 11 jackpot winners are a $341.7 million cash payout in July 2016 and a $352 million cash prize in January 2018. In an effort to maintain anonymity, one winner refused to claim her jackpot for several weeks.

Fun fact: New Hampshire was the first state with a modern-day lottery. Its lottery began in 1964, and it was the only one until Massachusetts got on board in 1974.

Next: Residents need the lottery in one of the most expensive places in the world.

10. Washington, D.C. (TIE)

Powerball luckiest states -- Washington D.C.

Washington D.C. is expensive, but you have a good chance to win the Powerball. | Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

Number of Powerball winners: 11

As one of the most expensive cities in the world, you’d be broke in Washington, D.C. with a $50,000 salary. Winning the lottery can help you survive in the nation’s capital, but it might also do more harm than good. Greedy friends, bankruptcy, and robbery plague many lotto winners.

Next: Money led to murder for a lottery winner in this state.

9. Florida

NAS Key West

You might not feel lucky when the weather turns, but Florida has produced lots of Powerball winners. | James E. Brooks/U.S. Navy via Getty Images

Number of Powerball winners: 12

Florida is one the best places to go for a job, but is it really one of the luckiest states? It wasn’t for Abraham Shakespeare. His life changed for the worse after winning the Florida lotto in 2006. Shakespeare struggled to say no to people who asked him for money. After many people took advantage of him, he went missing in 2009. A friend was later found guilty of his first-degree murder.

Next: This state may know the secret to winning the lotto.

8. Arizona

Lottery Tickets

Arizona has produced a number of Powerball winning lottery tickets | Warren-Pender/iStock/Getty Images

Number of Powerball winners: 13

Are Arizona’s lottery winners the beneficiaries of luck or do they know something the rest of us don’t? The Powerball numbers are randomly drawn, but some numbers are more common than others. Plus, there are a few other tricks for winning big, which you’ll want to learn before you buy your next ticket.

Next: This Midwest state has its share of big winners.

7. Wisconsin

Wisconsin Welcome sign at Marinette WI

Welcome to Wisconsin, home to Powerball winners. | Csfotoimages/iStock/Getty Images

Number of Powerball winners: 16

The Midwest seems to be a hotbed of good luck. In March 2017, Wisconsinite Mai Xiong possessed the lone winning ticket for a $156.2 million prize. Another huge jackpot, $208.6 million, went to an anonymous Wisconsin winner known as 100 Miracles in 2006.

Next: This state has its struggles, but the lottery isn’t one.

6. Louisiana

In New Orleans on Bourbon St. on August 7, 2013 a jazz band plays jazz melodies in the street for donations from the tourists and locals passing by on this hot summer evening

You can celebrate the lottery in Louisiana. | Simplyphotos/iStock/Getty Images

Number of Powerball winners: 17

A couple negatives tarnish Louisiana’s reputation. It has one of the lowest teacher salaries in the country. There are more people in jail there than in any other state. And three of its cities’ residents seem destined for obesity. Yet Louisiana is home to 17 Powerball jackpot winners, so we’ll still call it one of the luckiest states.

Next: This state flies under the Powerball radar.

4. Kentucky (TIE)

lottery tickets

Kentucky counts itself as one of the luckiest states for Powerball with 18 winners. | Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

Number of Powerball winners: 18

The Bluegrass State has a strong lotto history, but it hasn’t produced as much in recent years. Kentucky’s celebrated five winning tickets since 2003, and only one of those was a nine-figure jackpot over $100 million. However, Rob Anderson’s $128.6 million prize happened on Dec. 26, 2009, so his holiday season was quite jolly.

Next: Lots of big-money winners in this historic state

4. Pennsylvania (TIE)

Computer screen shows Powerball lottery information

Pennsylvania has had 18 Powerball winners over the years. | Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Number of Powerball winners: 18

Seventeen of Pennsylvania’s winners have occurred since 2003, five of which claimed nine-figure cash payouts. A private trust laid claim to the biggest prize in state history: A $273.9 million cash payout on a $456.7 million pot on Mach 17, 2018.

Next: A state known for friendliness — but not with lottery winnings.

3. Minnesota

Person holding Powerball lottery tickets

Minnesota had a really good Powerball year in 2004. | Karen Bleier/AFP/Getty Images

Number of Powerball winners: 22

This Midwestern state is a hotbed for identity theft and fraud crimes. Lotto winners need to watch out for those scams, and 2004 was a big year for that kind of thing. The Land of 10,000 Lakes produced back-to-back Powerball winners on July 7 and Aug. 14, 2004, taking home more than $64 million combined in cash.

Next: Move to this state ASAP if you hope to win the lottery.

2. Missouri

Cindy and Mark Hill lottery winner

Mark and Cindy Hill won one of the largest Powerball jackpots in history. | Missouri Lottery via Youtube

Number of Powerball winners: 31

We’ve visited Iowa, Nebraska, Minnesota, and Wisconsin so far, and like its Midwest neighbors, it’s one of the luckiest states in America. It’s produced 31 Powerball winners over the years, including one of the largest jackpots in history. Cindy and Mark Hill split a $587.5 million prize with another winner, and in the end, they received half of a $384.7 million cash payout.

Next: The luckiest state in the U.S., and it’s not even close.

1. Indiana

Indiana is one of the luckiest states when it come to the Powerball lottery

Indiana has had some big Powerball winners over the years. | Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

Number of Powerball winners: 39

No matter which high-paying lottery game you prefer, Indiana is the place to buy your tickets. Not only is it the luckiest state with 39 jackpot winners, but the Hoosier State claims two of the biggest lottery jackpots of all time. In 2017, it had a solo winner of a $435 million Powerball jackpot (the person accepted a $263.5 million cash payout). Even though our list counts only Powerball winners, a solo winner took home a $536 million Mega Millions prize in 2016.

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