A lottery game is a gambling form or a game of chance. After buying tickets by choosing a series of random numbers, the players can compare their chosen numbers with the result to figure out if they win any valuable prize or not.
Currently, there are several types of lottery games. Even though each game has its own rules, every lottery-type has quite a similar gaming procedure:
- A player would choose the numbers for their ticket.
- The game’s host would draw a series of numbers (usually live drawn on television) as results to determine the winners.
- The player will check his/ her ticket with the result to see if they have matched numbers to win a prize or not.
Each lottery game will have a minimum jackpot amount at the beginning. Thanks to the roll-over characteristic of the lottery jackpot’s rule, the jackpot keeps rising and growing if there is no winner for it yet before it can find the new jackpot owner. Throughout the lottery games of chance’s history, people have seen shocking lottery jackpots with huge prize pools. Hundreds of millions or even billions of dollars have been rewarded to the winner and totally change their life.
Here, we can discover the biggest lottery jackpots that ever happened on this planet, mostly the most significant jackpots that have happened in the USA. As unquestionably, the amount of winning money can drive you into saying, “Unbelievable!”
Top magnificent lottery jackpot
The biggest jackpot ever: $1,586 billion in 2016 – 3 winning tickets
The biggest jackpot in the Powerball lottery history belonged to Powerball’s players in January 2016. The winners were three different tickets. Each ticket’s owner claimed for 1/3 of the total prize, which amounted to approximately $528.8 million. The winning tickets were sold in three different states: Florida, Tennessee, and California. This jackpot hit the record for the most significant total lump sum ever at all times.
An interesting fact about this jackpot was that the winner from Florida had revealed her story as she had used and played that same winning numbers for a long time, and finally, everything had paid off.
The biggest single-ticket jackpot: $1,537 billion – 1 winning ticket
On 23rd October 2018, a woman in South Carolina won a massive jackpot while she attended to Mega Millions lottery. The winner chose to be anonymous and just came to claim her prize in March 2019, only one month before the last day that she could claim her prize. The total payout of this jackpot was around $878 million in one-time lumpsum payoff and was the largest individual’s jackpot payout amount.
After claiming her winning, she shared her intention as she would make donations for charities such as Ronald McDonald House of Charities of Columbia, In the Middle, City of Simpsonville Art Center.
Also, she especially promised to make donations for Hurricane Florence relief through One SC Fund and Tornado Relief fund through American Red Cross Alabama Region.
$768.4 million – single ticket winning
This jackpot was Powerball’s jackpot in March 2019. The ticket’s owner stood between options to receive a one-time payoff with $477 million or to receive an installment in 29 years with a total of $768.4 million. On the same draw, there were nine more tickets, which won each $1 million or $2 million for a winning division.
$758.7 million – single ticket winning
Another Powerball’s Jackpot was given to a winner named Mavis Wanczyk – mother of two in Massachusetts on 23rd August 2017. This jackpot was Powerball’s first largest individual jackpot before we had another bigger Powerball’s single jackpot in 2019. After payout fee and taxes, she claimed back in total $336,350,655. After this jackpot, several internet scams took advantage of the identity of Mavis Wanczyk. Multiple fake social media accounts named Mavis Wanczyk appeared on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. The contents in those fake accounts were about giving cash in exchange for following this account.
Another famous scam related to this winning jackpot was through email. Some people reported that they receive an email from Mavis Wanczyk saying that Mavis randomly chose to give away $2 million. The receiver just needed to click on the YouTube link and send an email with a given donation code to another email. This was considered a scam that aims for identity stealing. Not just Mavis Wanczyk, other jackpot’s winners, who do not go anonymous, have possibilities to be in similar circumstances like this.
$687.8 million – two winning tickets
Two winning tickets from Iowa and New York were announced that they won a Powerball jackpot on 27th October 2018.
Iowa’s winner was Lerynne West, who claimed back a one-time lumpsum payment with nearly $198 million. She appeared on the Ellen show after her winning to share about her lucky experience with this ticket. She told people that she almost lost this ticket before she won. The ticket was somehow misplaced in her sister’s truck floor. She promised to donate $500,000 to the non-profit organization The Travis Mills Foundation. The rest of her winning, she said she would use to share with her family, buy her a new car, take one or many long vacations, and support many organizations for good causes. She and her family had established a charity organization called Callum Foundation for the donation plan. The organization aimed at offering financial aid to improve mostly children’s wellbeing such as healthcare, poverty, and hunger.
Another shared winner was Robert Bailey, who lived in Manhattan, New York. He faithfully played just these winning numbers for 25 years, and he would continue to play only these numbers. He also received the same amount as Lerynne West with a one-time lump sum payment – nearly $198 million.
Other historic jackpot winnings
- $656 million Mega Millions jackpot in 2012 was winning by a married couple from Illinois.
- $648 million Mega Millions jackpot in 2013 was winning by two winners from Georgia and California. One of them from California purchased multiple tickets.
- $590.5 million Powerball jackpot in 2013 was winning by Gloria MacKenzie from Florida.
- SorteoExtraordinario de Navidad in Spanish – the Spanish Christmas Lottery had multiple remarkable jackpots. The total jackpot’s prizes for every winner summed up to a total of $2.65 billion.
- El Gordo, Spanish cultural annual lottery event – every year 22nd December’s lottery game. This lottery has made its players overwhelm many times. One year El Gordo paid out €400,000 each for 1,800 winning tickets around Spain as well as many other smaller prizes. The total prizes were summed up to approximately €2 billion.
- UK’s biggest jackpot winner belonged to EuroMillions‘s two players in 2011. The couple earned £161 million or $211 million.
- This next one is not a jackpot, but we need to mention it. From 2011 to 2016, a family in Scotland won multiple lotteries, winning for £1 million ($1.3 million) and become England’s luckiest family.