The biggest lottery prizes won, ever. (until December 2018)
Source: WorldList – YouTube
Do you ever play the lottery? It’s something that many try, few ever win. Yet, people still hope that one day they’ll be the big winner. If it can happen to these people, why can’t it happen to you too? Here are eight of the biggest lottery jackpots in history.
The biggest lottery jackpot winners ever!
Number 8: $564 million in 2015 [00:24]
A few years previous, the Powerball lottery record winnings were up to $564 million. In February 2015, three people came forward to claim the winnings. As was their right, two of them elected to remain anonymous. However, one of the winners, Mary Holmes of North Carolina, was more than happy to admit that she had won part of the large sum. She was working at Walmart when she took home $88 million. A mother of four children and one with cerebral palsy, she was strongly criticized with how she was spending her money.
A few weeks after winning the lottery, Holmes is said to have used $3 million to bail out her boyfriend. He was charged with possession and drug trafficking. He kept getting caught for more and more crimes. Several magazines reported she spent up to $21 million trying to keep him out of prison in order to raise their kids. She also faced criminal prosecution of her own. It’s not all bad, though. She also bought a former gigantic plantation home. Now, she has her own estate. She was on the show ‘Fix my life’ on an episode called ‘Lotto drama’. Hope that after that show, she understood that trying to help everyone around is actually hurting her.
Number 7: $587.5 million in 2012 [01:42]
In 2012, the Powerball lottery winnings were up to a staggering $587.5 million. Two winners shared the prize money, Matthew Good and the Hill family. Good chose to remain anonymous. However, he was out of luck because lottery winners in Arizona are on public record. Good did exactly what he should, hired a bunch of lawyers and financial advisors. Then, he has pretty much been keeping low key ever since. Mark Hill and his wife Cindy of course, weren’t expecting to win, but their daughter was very excited. As luck would have it, they did win. They happily went on a family vacation, and even bought their daughter a horse.
Number 6: $590.5 million in 2013 [02:27]
During 2013, the Powerball lottery got up to an impressive $590.5 million. In a nice twist though, only one person got the winning numbers. It meant that they didn’t have to share the money with other winners. Thus, at this time, Gloria McKenzie was the record holder for the most lotto money won by a single person. ’We’re grateful for this blessing of winning the Florida lottery Powerball jackpot, and appreciate the interest of the public, state of Florida and the lottery. We hope that everyone will give an opportunity to maintain our privacy for our family’s benefit.’ Mackenzie opted to take the lump sum option. Thus allowing her to get $370 million. She agreed to split the money with her son, Scott. Thus giving them both life changing amounts of money. Many of Mackenzie’s neighbors have spoken out about her winning the lottery, and noted that it couldn’t have happened to a nicer person.
Number 5: $648 million in 2013 [03:27]
In 2013, two lottery winners got to split the sum of $648 million via the MegaMillions lottery. The winners were Steve Tran and Ira curry. Curry was from Georgia, and Tran was from California. The irony in the case of Tran was that he had the winning lottery ticket, but didn’t realize it until much later. Mainly because the people behind the lottery revealed that the place the winning ticket was from was San Jose, and he did not live there. Not realizing it, he went on with his life. He remembered one night that he had bought a bunch of lottery tickets from a store in San Jose. As such, he went through a box filled with tickets, and then found the winning one. After he found it, he had a certain thing to do. He called his job and said, ’I’m really sorry Boss, I won lottery jackpot. I don’t think I’m going to come to work today, tomorrow or ever.’ He was on a trip, when he decided to buy the winning ticket in San Jose. That trip changed his life. After selecting the lump sum amount, both earned $173 million.
Number 4: $656 million in 2012 [04:30]
Back in 2012, before the world was going to end, the MegaMillions lottery main prize was at $656 million. In March of that year, three groups of people came forward to claim the millions. A twist though, only one of these three groups revealed who they were to the world. One was Merle and Patricia Butler, who were from Illinois. There was a winner in Kansas, who refused to be named at all. Then, there were three school teachers from Maryland. Then, they did publicly claim their check. They did so under the group name, ’The three amigos’. This may seem odd, but it is actually law that those who don’t want to have their identities be revealed via the winning, don’t have to. They can remain anonymous. Granted, the people behind the lottery like to see the faces of the winners and let them have their fame. But for some, it’s too big a risk. When you have money, loads of money, people will want to warm you up and get some of those winnings for themselves if they can. Butler’s part of prize was $218.6 million. That is a nice tidy sum.
Number 3: $758.7 million in 2017 [05:37]
In 2017, the Powerball lottery reached a record levels. $758.7 million. The winner was later revealed to be Mavis L. Wanczyk of Chicopee, Massachusetts. Needless to say, she was a bit stunned when she found out. In fact, it was because of a friend that she found out at all. The friend noted the winning numbers. When she couldn’t do anything due to the shock, the friend demanded that she sign the ticket to ensure that nothing bad happened to it, and that she wouldn’t have it stolen. ‘I couldn’t drive anywhere. I couldn’t do anything,’ she told reporters.
Her friend actually followed her home to ensure that nothing bad happened to her. This was a very wise decision, considering what people sometimes do when they win the lottery. But her moment of shock and surprise didn’t pass. She went to bed and just laid there for a long time. She was trying to comprehend all that it just happened to her. This was an understandable response. When she was done and had accepted her new reality, she had one thing to do. No, not claim the money, she quit her job at the local hospital. ’I will not be coming back,’ she said. Her plans were to retire, which is fair, because she had been working at the hospital for the 32 years. Of the millions that she won, she elected to take a lump sum amount. After taxes, she won $480.5 million. This was a little less after the final taxes are paid. The store that earned a commission from the winning number donated all the money to charity.
Number 2: $1.537 billion in 2018 [07:08]
In 2018 MegaMillions lottery. Despite being advertised as a $1.6 billion jackpot, the real winning amout was slightly lower. If that prize had been in fact $1.6 billion, it would have been the highest jackpot in the history of the world lotteries. But upon further inspection, it wasn’t. The official number for the 2018 MegaMillions lottery near record jackpot was $1.537 billion. It naturally would be enough to satisfy just about anyone in the world with that amount. The interesting thing here is that though we can confirm that someone has won the money single handedly no less, no one has come to claim it. At least not as of yet. We can also confirm that the person who won, was from South Carolina. It makes it a record for that state as well as for the person who won it. If you’re wondering why a person hasn’t come forward after winning this enormous amount, it’s very simple, they don’t have to, not yet anyway.
By law, anyone who wins a major lottery prize doesn’t have to admit that they want it right away for obvious and personal reasons. They in fact have 180 days to claim their prize. What’s more, they actually have the right to claim the prize anonymously. This allows them to remain far away from the public eyes. Again, for obvious and personal reasons. The question really is how much money will they actually get? Since the person was a winner alone, it’s likely that even after taxes, they would get over a billion dollars. However, if a certain amount of taxes is taken, and they choose a lump sum payout, it would technically be just under a billion dollars, but only time will tell. Fun fact, whenever the ticket is officially claimed, the store that sold the ticket will get $50,000. That is not bad.
Number 1: $1.586 billion in 2016 [08:53]
The term ‘’billions’’ gets thrown around a lot in the modern day. The truth is that while there are now two jackpots worth over a billion dollars in history. No single person has ever won prize over a billion. What do I mean by that? Well, because one winning set hasn’t been claimed yet. The other wasn’t won by one person but by 3. In 2016, a $1.586 billion Powerball lottery main prize was up for grabs. Everyone was buying Powerball lottery tickets to try to win those money themselves. Quite weirdly though, one person didn’t win it. Rather, three people did. This isn’t as uncommon as you might think though. In fact, given the laws of probability, people picking out the same set of certain numbers happens a lot, especially in the lottery.
The people who got this money were John and Lisa Robinson in Tennessee, Maureen Smith and David Kaltschmidt in Florida, and Marvin and Mae Acosta in California. Now as law, whoever gets the winning numbers in terms of lottery will be evenly split. But also by lottery law, the people have an option of how they get their money. After taxes are deducted, they can take a lump sum or an annuity. The Robinson’s and Kaltschmidt’s decided to take the lump sum. The Acosta’s opted not to reveal what they took. If they all took the lump sum, that means, of the $1.586 billion, they each would have gotten $327.8 million. As such, no one has claimed a billion in the lottery just yet.