The lottery jackpot has ballooned to $454 million last July, which made it one of the 10 largest prizes in American lottery history. Mega Millions lottery is played in 44 states, Washington D.C. and the U.S. Virgin Island. The odds of winning the $454 grand jackpot are one in $259 million.
A trio of Powerball tickets holders bought their tickets in Florida, California, and Tennessee to claim a share of nearly $1.6 billion. This is the largest prize to have been won in a single lottery draw in the world. Ticket holders have shared their fantasies like buying lavish mansions and purchasing sports teams if they win the jackpot.
While everyone waits for the jackpot to catapult to new heights again, let’s take a look at the 5 biggest lottery winners in American history:
1.) $1.6 billion Powerball
The milestone jackpot record had a trio of winners on January 13, 2016. Marvin and Mae Acosta from California claimed their prize on July 19. Tennessee’s John and Lisa Robinson appeared on the NBC’s Today show before cashing their ticket in. They took home $528.8 million share of the prize in one lump-sum payment of $327.8 million. Maureen Smith is the 70-year-old winner from Florida who claimed a third of the winnings and mentioned that she used the same 6 numbers before winning the jackpot.
2.) $656 million Mega Millions
This was the single largest jackpot pooled by any lottery in the world. Mega Millions announced that the grand jackpot on March 30, 2012 was shared by a triumvirate of winners which have multiple tickets with the exact winning numbers. Merle and Patricia Butler of Illinois received one of the $218.6 million shares of the jackpot prize. The second ticket was sold in Maryland and was divided among a group of friends that called themselves the “3 Amigos.” A lone winner from Kansas decided to remain anonymous.
3.) $648 million Mega Millions
The jackpot prize of the Mega Millions draw on December 17, 2013 was split into two. Ira Curry from Georgia used family birthdays to win half of the jackpot. The other winner, Steve Tran, is a delivery drive. Tran called his boss after winning the jackpot, and told him “I hit the jackpot. I don’t think I’m going to come in today, tomorrow, or ever.
4.) $590.5 million Powerball
The grand winner of the May 18, 2013 Powerball draw was 84-year old Gloria Mackenzie of Florida. “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. It only shows that a quick-pick ticket can be a decent option to bet on Powerball.
5.) $587.5 million Powerball
Matthew Good won a very good jackpot prize on Powerball’s November 28, 2012 draw. He decided to stay anonymous at first but public record laws state that lottery winners’ identities should be revealed. The other winners are Mark and Cindy Hill of Missouri which took their daughter to the beach after winning. They bought her a horse and Mark bought a red Camaro.