These Are the Biggest Lottery Jackpots of All Time
If you’re like most people, you dream of winning the lottery someday. You probably think about the vacations you’ll take and the long-delayed purchases you’ll make. And, of course, you probably rehearse how you’ll quit your job — if you go back, that is.
If you hit the jackpot, life would change a lot. Let’s take a look at some of the largest lottery jackpots and the stories behind them, including where the recent $456.7 million jackpot falls on the list. Maybe one day, the big jackpot story will be yours.
Here are the biggest lottery jackpots of all time.
15. $435 million Powerball
Kicking off this list is the $435 million Powerball jackpot. On February 22, 2017, the winning ticket was claimed by an anonymous ticket holder in Lafayette, Indiana. He or she was the only winner of this jackpot. Talk about a lucky break.
The ticket was sold at an Indiana gas station, reports USA Today. Dennis Rosebrough, director of public relations for Hoosier Lottery, told the newspaper this is likely the second-biggest winning ticket ever sold in the state. Prior to this win, a $540 million Mega Millions ticket was sold in Cambridge City, Indiana, in July 2017.
Next: This person was the only winner.
14. $447.8 million Powerball
This jackpot was claimed on June 10, 2017, by Californian Jeff Lindsay. He was the sole winner. He purchased his Powerball ticket with the money he won from a winning scratch ticket.
“We are obviously thrilled with this tremendous stroke of good luck and are still getting our arms around what it means for us,” said Lindsay, in a statement released by the California Lottery. At the time, this was the seventh largest in Powerball history and the tenth largest in U.S. history. Lindsay chose to take a lump sum payment of $271.1 million before taxes.
Next: These winners named themselves Ocean’s 16.
13. $448.4 million Powerball
Three winning tickets were claimed on August 7, 2013. A 70-year-old man in New Jersey, a project engineer in Minnesota, and a group of 16 Superstorm Sandy survivors were among the lucky winners. Each of the 16 winners from that group, who dubbed themselves Ocean’s 16, took home roughly $3.8 million after taxes, according to lottery spokeswoman Judith Drucker.
Next: One of the youngest winners ever.
12.$451 million Mega Millions
This jackpot was claimed on January 5, 2018. The sole winner was 20-year-old Shane Missler from Port Richey, Florida.
Although most lottery winners are hesitant to make a big deal about their winnings, Missler handled the news of his fortune differently. He immediately went on Facebook to share the good news. He decided to take a lump-sum payout of $281,874,999.
Next: This winner is waiting to come forward.
11. $456.7 million Powerball
The winnings for this jackpot were claimed on March 17, 2018. There was only one winning ticket, which was sold in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. As of this writing, not much else is known about the winner. Pennsylvania lottery winners cannot remain anonymous, so we’ll eventually find out who won. However, winners have one year to claim their prizes, so it could be a while before we hear who the winner is.
Next: This lucky person promised to use their winnings for a good cause.
10. $487 million Powerball
The winnings for this jackpot were claimed on July 30, 2016. There was just one winner, and the ticket was sold in New Hampshire. Lawyers for a New Hampshire family claimed the jackpot on their behalf in September of that year, reports CBS Boston. The lawyers said the winners desired to remain anonymous but would do “great things” with their winnings.
Next: This winner learned about the lottery results during a trip.
9. $536 million Mega Millions
The $536 million Mega Millions jackpot was claimed on July 8, 2016. There was one winner, and the ticket was sold in Indiana. A family representative came to collect the prize a few weeks later. The representative said in a statement released by Hoosier Lottery that the winner learned about the lottery results during a family trip.
Next: This winner wants to stay hidden.
8. $559.7 million Powerball
The $559.7 million Powerball jackpot was claimed on Jan. 6, 2018. The winning ticket was purchased at Reeds Ferry Market in Merrimack, New Hampshire. Lawyers collected the money on the winner’s behalf in March 2018.
All that is known so far is that the winner is a woman from New Hampshire. USA Today reports attorney William Shaheen accepted the check, which was written out to the Good Karma Family trust. The winner opted for a lump-sum payment of $352 million.
Next: This woman had a string of bad luck after winning the lottery.
7. $564 million Powerball
The $564 million Powerball jackpot was claimed February 11, 2015. There were three winners, including an anonymous player in Puerto Rico, Marie Holmes of North Carolina, and Andrew Weber (he claimed the prize on behalf of a trust in Texas).
Marie Holmes made headlines for spending shocking amounts of her prize money in a short time period. She reportedly bailed her boyfriend out of jail four times, which cost $21 million. In addition, Holmes was allegedly sued by a local pastor for $10 million.
Next: This winner wants to give back.
6. $587.5 million Powerball
The $587.5 million Powerball jackpot was claimed on November 28, 2012. There were two winners, Matthew Good of Arizona and Cindy and Mark Hill of Dearborn, Missouri. Mark told a Kansas City news station he had plans to give back to his hometown of Camden Point, Missouri. He wanted provide money to plow over the baseball field and build a new fire station.
Next: Sometimes it doesn’t pay to be nice.
5. $590.5 million Powerball
The $590.5 million Powerball jackpot was claimed May 18, 2013. The winner was Gloria Mackenzie, an 84-year-old from Florida. She was the only winner.
Makenzie purchased her ticket during a trip to Publix. While she was in line, another person who was waiting to purchase a ticket let Mackenzie go ahead of her. That person could have been the winner. “While in line at Publix, another lottery player was kind enough to let me go ahead of them in line to purchase the winning quick-pick ticket,” Mackenzie said in a statement released by the Florida Lottery.
Next: This winner never wanted to see his boss again.
4. $648 million Mega Millions
The $648 million Mega Millions jackpot was claimed December 17, 2013. The jackpot was divided between two winners, Ira Curry from Georgia and Steve Tran, a delivery driver. Curry said she used the numbers from family birthdays, in addition to the number seven, to come up with the winning numbers, reports CNN.
After Tran found out he won, he decided to quit immediately, saying, “I’m really sorry boss. I hit the jackpot. I don’t think I’m going to come in today, tomorrow, or ever,” reports USA Today.
Next: These winners dubbed themselves the “Three Amigos.”
3. $656 million Mega Millions
The $656 million Mega Millions jackpot was claimed on March 30, 2012. The money was split among three winners, including retirees Merle and Patricia Butler, a group of friends in Maryland who named themselves the “Three Amigos,” and an anonymous winner from Kansas. A lottery official told Reuters that each winner from this group gets roughly $105.1 million after taxes.
Next: She decided to quit.
2. $758.7 million Powerball
The $758.7 Million Powerball jackpot was claimed August 23, 2017. Mavis Wanczyk of Chicopee, Massachusetts, was the sole winner. Wanczyk decided to retire at the age of 53 and quit her job right away. However, she was so excited, she had trouble driving home. CNN reports the former Mercy Medical Center employee had to have a co-worker follow her to make sure she reached her destination safely.
Next: So far, this is the biggest lottery jackpot of all time.
1. $1.6 billion Powerball
The $1.6 billion Powerball jackpot was claimed January 13, 2016. The jackpot was split among three people, including Mae and Marvin Acosta from Chino Hills, California; John and Lisa Robinson of Munford, Tennessee; and Maureen Smith from Melbourne Beach, Florida.
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