10 Biggest Lotto Jackpot Winners
To say that winning the lottery can change your life is a serious understatement. Imagine this: one moment you’re living from paycheck to paycheck, and worrying about how you’re going to pay the bills, and the next moment you have more money than you know what to do with. This is the situation of most lottery jackpot winners and this is a situation that people wish they’d find themselves in.
So who are these lucky individuals? Well, for privacy and security’s sake, the identity of lottery winners are often kept confidential, but we tried our best to compile the top 10 biggest lottery winners as a simple reminder that if you persevere, lady luck might just come knocking at your door.
#10 US Powerball - $420.9 million - Tennessee, USA
We’ve seen many husband and wife lotto jackpot winners, as well as families who claim the prize money as one unit. However, number 10 on our list is a group of 20 co-workers who shared the Powerball Nov. 26, 2016 draw jackpot prize of $420.9 million. The group, known as the Tennessee 20, has played the lottery as a unit for years and will be splitting the prize amongst themselves. All members of the Tennessee 20 worked for an auto parts manufacturing plant in Portland and bought the winning ticket at the Smokeshop in Lafayette.
#9 EuroMillions - €190 million - United Kingdom and Portugal
At the ninth spot we have a tie, both coming from the EuroMillions lottery. However, this does not qualify as a rare occurrence for the EuroMillions lottery, as €190 million is the jackpot cap of the lottery. The first time it happened was back in August 10, 2012 when couple Adrian and Gillian Bayford From Suffolk won the EuroMillions draw with the ticket number 11, 17, 21, 48, 50 and lucky stars 9 and 10. The jackpot had no winner for 14 consecutive draws until the Bayfords netted the €190 million, which at that time was equivalent to US$234 million.The couple opted for a lump sum payment, which reduced their win to £148 million.
The second €190 million jackpot was won in October 24, 2014, with the winning numbers 3,9, 20, 30, 42 and lucky stars 1 and 6. The jackpot would have been rolled down and divided among the 2nd prize winners if no winner was announced, but one lucky Portuguese citizen matched all 7 numbers, taking home €190 million, which at 2014 was equivalent to US$240.7 million. Details about the lucky winner were not made public, but it was confirmed that the winning ticket was bought at the Sobedis store in Castelo Branco.
#8 US Powerball - $435.3 million - Indiana, USA
The February 22 draw of the US Powerball in 2016 drew a solo winner for the jackpot prize of $435.3 million. The winning ticket with the numbers 10, 13, 28, 52, 61 and Powerball 2 was bought at the local Super-Test gas station in Lafayette. The lotto jackpot winner, who will be taking home a cash value of $263.4 million, wanted to stay anonymous, so they created the trust fund Bohemian Financial, LLC to claim the prize. However, it was confirmed that the winner was a Purdue graduate who was working at a Lafayette manufacturing plant at that time.
#7 US Powerball - $447.8 million - California, USA
All Jeff Lindsay wanted to do was play Scratch Card games at the Marietta Liquor & Deli store in Menifee. When one of his cards won, he decided to purchase 10 Powerball ticket with his winnings, and one of those tickets ended up being the sole winner of the Powerball draw last June 10, 2017. Opting for the cash value of $279, Jeff and his family have now sought the assistance of financial and legal attorneys to ensure that the money is invested wisely.
#6 US Powerball - $429.6 - New Jersey, USA
The May 7, 2016 draw of the US Powerball made millionaires out of a simple family in Trenton, New Jersey. Matriarch Pearlie Smith purchased the ticket, but she included her seven grown children as co-winners. The ticket, which was bought at 7-Eleven store, bore the winning numbers 5, 25, 26, 44, 66 with the Powerball 9. According to Pearlie Smith, they believe it was divine intervention as they saw the winning numbers in a dream. The cash value of $284 million will be divided among the family, with each member taking home a total of $35 million.
#5 US Powerball - $1.5 billion - United States
To date, the largest jackpot in the world stands at $1.5 billion, an amount which was given away last January 13, 2016. So why isn’t this at the top of our list? Because this particular draw had three winners splitting the jackpot at around $327 million each. The jackpot’s winning numbers are as follows: 8, 27, 34, 4, 19, and Powerball 10. The three winning tickets came from California, Florida, and Tennessee.
Married couple John and Lisa Robinson came forward as the Tennessee winners of the jackpot. According to them, they bought the winning ticket at Naifeh's Food Mart, along with three other tickets. Coincidentally, the California winners were also husband and wife. Marvin and Mae Acosta bought their ticket at a 7-Eleven store in Chino HIlls and said a portion of their winnings would go to charity. The Florida winners of the Jackpot remained anonymous and trust fund lawyers claimed the share on their behalf. However, further research revealed that the trust’s beneficiary was 70-year old Melbourne Beach resident Maureen Smith.
#4 US Powerball - $487 million - New Hampshire, USA
The July 30, 2016 draw for the US Powerball drew another lucky winner, and this time it was a simple family from Raymond, New Hampshire. Lawyers claimed the $487 million jackpot on behalf of the winner, stating that the family wished to stay anonymous. The winning ticket was bought at the Hannaford supermarket with the winning numbers 11, 17, 21, 23, 32 and Powerball 5. The final payout amounted to $256 million, most of which is being kept in a trust fund, while the remaining amount has been donated to several charities.
#3 US PowerBall - $590 million - Florida, USA
Gloria C. Mackenzie, an 84-year old resident of Zephyrhills, Florida, waited in line at the local Publix supermarket to purchase tickets to the Powerball draw. After another customer allowed her to get ahead in line, she was able to quick pick 5 tickets for the May 18, 2013 draw, which means the numbers were all randomly generated for her. She didn’t expect to become the sole winner of the $590 million jackpot prize. She opted for a lump sum payment, which means her winnings decreased to $370 million. After paying taxes of 25%, she took home $270 million in the end.
#2 Mega Millions - $536 million - Indiana, USA
Number 9 on the list is another Mega Millions winner, this time from the lottery’s July 8 draw in 2016. One single ticket got the winning number combination of 8, 19, 20, 55 and 73, as well as the Mega Ball 5, earning them a $536 million jackpot prize, making it the third largest prize ever given by Mega Millions. The jackpot prize of $536 million was a cash value of $378 million. The winner was a couple who chose to stay anonymous as they wanted to protect their school-aged children from possible harm. The prize was claimed by a trust fund on their behalf.
#1 US Powerball - $758.7 million - Massachusetts, USA
Mavis Wanczyk, a hospital worker, is the luckiest of them all. The 53-year-old is the sole winner of the $758.7 million Powerball jackpot prize on its August 23, 2017 draw. She bought two tickets at the local Pride Station and Store in Chicopee, one of which had the winning combination of 6, 7, 16, 23, 26, and the Powerball 4. The prize money is the second highest jackpot amount in history as of the writing of this article, and the highest cash value per winner. Since she opted for a one-time lump sum payment, she was able to take home $480.5 million.
Becoming a Lottery Jackpot Winner: Don't Give Up!
Aside from the lotto winners mentioned above, there are hundreds of lottery jackpot winners and probably thousands more have won secondary and minor prizes. No matter what the circumstances of the people included in this list, one thing is certain: most of them never gave up their dream to become lottery winners and never stopped believing that one day their picks would appear on the lottery’s winning numbers roll.