Lottery Winners Marvin and Mae Acosta

Even though it’s been years since their historic win on January 13, 2016, Marvin and Mae Acosta are among the top five most famous US Powerball lottery winners. This is partly because of how well they handled their win, making sure they were well prepared before they collected their cash payout of $327.8 million before taxes. Many lottery winners who end up broke do so because of bad planning, being scammed by lawyers and other organizations, or spending their new funds like crazy. A second reason why the Acostas are renowned is simply because of how much they won, a third of a whopping $1.58 billion jackpot. This was a world-record win.

Learning more about the Acostas could give you an idea how to handle a large win of your own, as their method is certainly one of the safest.

The Mystery Winners

Lottery Winners Marvin and Mae AcostaThe Acostas are a fairly young couple with two children. At 39 (Marvin) and 40 (Mae) when they won the lottery, they are relatively young winners. Many lottery winners face decades of public intrusion, and their young age makes this even more feasible. Little is known about Marvin and Mae’s home life, family dynamics, and even careers before they won the Powerball. Because the Acostas have been so private, it’s been difficult for journalists to interview neighbours or friends to find out more. What is known is they bought their winning ticket at a 7-Eleven in Chino Hills, a small suburb in Los Angeles, but no one knows if that’s the suburb where they actually lived or if they just stopped by. In either case, it has quickly become popular as a winning spot. Many people believe the luck that allowed one winning ticket to be bought there will carry over to themselves, so they now exclusively buy their tickets there. The owner of the 7-Eleven himself even received a pay-out of one million dollars for selling the Acostas the winning ticket!


Even though it’s been a few years since their lucky break, the Acostas have carefully worked to maintain their privacy. This fits their careful profile, as they waited an entire six months before coming forward to claim their cash prize. In other words, they made sure they were very well prepared. The day before they claimed their winnings, Marvin and his wife and two children moved out of their California home to an unknown location. Once they’d collected the pay-out, they did as much as possible to protect their privacy, including refusing to speak to the press and to be photographed.

Although their names are public record, there are very few photographs of the couple. They released a statement to the press which showed how down to earth they are. Not seeming to be interested in using the $327.8 million they won for themselves, they described their win as a “gift” that was “placed in [their] care” and that they will be donating to various charities.


Scam AlertMany people have reported various Acosta scams, either via email spams or a website that is a rip-off of the Gates Foundation. These scams either promise a share of their winnings or ask for donations to their charities. The common theme is that the scammers want your personal details or to get you to click on a dodgy link.

One feature that allows the scammers to have free reign on their imagination is the fact that so little is really known about the Acostas. Some letters will claim that they are emailing you from Luxemburg or other European countries. Be assured, the Acostas would not be emailing you from anywhere to gift you money. Yes, they’re generous people, but not that generous.

What You Can Learn from the Acostas

The Acostas set a great example to future winners for how to handle their fortune. Here are some tips for if you are ever in the same situation:

  1. Don’t rush: Marvin and Mae Acosta waited six months before going forward to receive their portion of the record-breaking win. They decided ahead of time what they were planning to do, who would help them (lawyers and security detail), and how they would handle the press. Although you might do things differently, take the time to consider your game plan.
  2. Stay safe: Marvin and Mae were aware that being a lottery winner gives you instant celebrity status. While many people may see that fame as something to be coveted, keep in mind that it comes with its own risks. From people pretending to be charities to get money from you to straight-up theft and extortion, it is almost certain that you will become a target at some point. Staying anonymous as long as possible, stopping photographers from splashing your photos across the globe, and protecting yourself from the world knowing your address is a very wise way to approach a mega win like this.

Although the names of Marvin and Mae Acosta are world famous, they are not famous for having squandered their wealth or rushed to publish themselves as widely as possible. As a result, very few people know much about them or have bugged them ever since they claimed their prize—meaning they’re probably enjoying their wealth in a care-free way that few lottery winners do. Perhaps you might decide to follow the same path to success?

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