Biggest American Lottery Jackpots of All | theLotter

10 Biggest American Lottery Jackpots of All Time

When you win the lottery, you become incredibly rich overnight! Even winning a second place prize in Powerball and Mega Millions will make you an instant millionaire. But, there are millionaires and there are millionaires. When jackpots roll over and grow to epic proportions, the winners become extremely wealthy, even richer than many celebrities!

We’ve listed below the ten biggest American lottery jackpots of all time, counting down from tenth place to the world record jackpot prize. Are you ready to find your name on this list?

biggest american lottery jackpots

10. Anonymous - 30 March 2018, Mega Millions $521M

A single ticket sold in New Jersey was the only winner of a $521 million Mega Millions jackpot in the lottery’s draw on 30 March 2018. Amazingly, the draw took place exactly six years to the day after Mega Millions set a world record by awarding a $656 million prize, a record that stood for four years.

The Mega Millions jackpot had rolled over 24 times until the winning numbers were drawn: 11, 28, 31, 46, and 59. The Mega Ball selected was 1. The only ticket that matched those numbers can choose to take a $521 million annuity or receive a lump sum cash payment of $317.2 million.

9. Anonymous - 8 July 2016, Mega Millions $536M

A couple from Hamilton County, Indiana, nearly forgot they bought Mega Millions lottery tickets before they learned that they had won their $536 million jackpot prize. The couple, who chose to remain anonymous, went into the record books for winning the largest prize ever won by a single ticket in the Mega Millions lottery.

When the couple went online and saw the winning Mega Millions numbers announced, they realized that they matched the Quick Pick ticket they had purchased. The couple couldn't believe what they were seeing so they restarted their computer in disbelief. The couple chose to take the one-time lump sum payment of their prize to receive a final payment of $271 million after taxes.

biggest lottery jackpots

8. Anonymous - 6 January 2018, Powerball $559.7M

One of the first pieces of advice given to the winner of a huge jackpot prize is to sign the back of their lottery ticket. The winner of a huge Powerball jackpot prize in January 2018, a woman from New Hampshire, said that advice was a a “huge mistake”. If she had received proper legal advice in time, she would have signed the ticket with the name of a trust that would ensure her anonymity. According to New Hampshire Lottery regulations, the identity of lottery winners must be made public. The jackpot winner stated that she desires to protect her personal safety "and the freedom to walk into a grocery store or attend public events without being known or targeted as the winner of a half-billion dollars." The woman went to court in a case that has the potential to change lottery laws around the world.

Amazingly, a judge ruled in favour of the woman who sued to retain her anonymity. The judge stated that if the winner's "identity be revealed, she will be subject to an alarming amount of harassment, solicitation and unwanted communications." As a result, we will never know the name of this winner of a huge American jackpot prize.

7. Marie Holmes; TL Management Trust; & Anonymous - 11 February 2015, Powerball, $564.1M

Mother-of-four Marie Holmes has not had the easiest life. She was raising her four kids as a single mother and was forced to quit her job to take care full-time of her son with special needs. Marie asked her mother to buy a ticket for her when the Powerball jackpot grew to an obscene amount. Her mother obliged and the rest is lottery history.

Holmes was one of three winners of the $564.1 million jackpot. She became the biggest lottery winner in North Carolina's history. Holmes vowed to use the money for good causes. Since then Holmes has been in and out of the news for both positive and not-so-positive reasons as she used some of her millions to help out her church, and some of the money to bail out her boyfriend on a drug charge.

Another winner claimed their share of the prize as the TL Management Trust. The winning ticket was bought at the Appletree Food Mart in Princeton, Texas.

The last winner, a resident of Puerto Rico, remained completely anonymous. All three winners collected their prize as a one-time cash payout of $127 million each, which ended up being $87.9 million after taxes.

biggest powerball jackpots

6. Matthew Good; & Mark and Cindy Hill - 28 November 2012, Powerball, $587.5M

The Missouri winners of this epic Powerball win announced their big victory ceremoniously at the high school where they first fell in love in the 1970s. Mark and Cindy Hill of Dearborn, Missouri spent $10 on five tickets with random numbers, and in return they received a $192 million cash payout before taxes! These high school sweethearts made national news and put Dearborn on the map!

The other recipient of the huge jackpot, Matthew Good of Phoenix, Arizona, settled on the lump sum cash payment as well. Talk about living up to your name - obviously Good’s life will be good for a long time to come with his massive Powerball win!

5. Gloria C. MacKenzie - 19 May 2013, Powerball, $590.5M

Mindy Crandell was waiting in line at the Publix supermarket near Tampa, Florida, in front of Gloria MacKenzie, an 84-year-old Zephyrhills resident. Crandell decided quite courteously to let the woman go in front of her, not realising that giving up her spot in line would mean giving up a record $590.5 million lottery win! MacKenzie took her spot, bought a Quick Pick, and became the winner of what was at the time the largest jackpot ever won by a single ticket holder. Remarkably, Crandell said she had no regrets and preferred to teach her daughter that kindness was more important than money.

biggest mega millions jackpots

4. Ira Curry; and Steve Tran - 17 December 2013, Mega Millions, $648M

This huge jackpot was made possible largely due to major format changes made by Mega Millions in October 2013. When the new rules went into effect, they served to boost the lottery’s jackpot significantly. In this case, after a series of 21 rollovers, Mega Millions ticket sales went through the roof. It wasn’t even clear how high the jackpot would be in the final draw but the prize ended up being $648,000,000!

Two winners each earned a $324,000,000 share of the pot, worth $173,819,742.50 before taxes. The winning tickets were bought in San Jose, California, and Stone Mountain, Georgia. The first winner to come forward to claim the prize was 56-year-old Ira Curry, who chose the numbers based on family birthdays and the family's lucky number seven, which was selected as the Mega Ball.

The California winning ticket was bought at Jennifer's Gift Shop in San Jose by Steve Tran, who almost lost his ticket. Tran hadn't even realized he'd won, since the winning ticket was in a pile of other old tickets that he'd neglected to check!

3. Merle and Patricia Butler; The Three Amigos; & Anonymous - 30 March 2012, Mega Millions, $656M

Mega Million's largest jackpot drawing ever (and world record at the time) was held on 30 March 2012. As the jackpot rose to epic proportions, players and fans began to wonder whether the prize pool would ever be won!

On the Friday after the win, the first of three winners claimed their $218.6 million share of the prize. Kansas law allows lottery winners to remain anonymous, which was what this wise lottery winner chose to do.

At least the lotto world was able to semi-identify the Maryland winners, three Maryland public school system employees who dubbed themselves "The Three Amigos." These American lottery winners -- a woman in her twenties, another in her fifties, and a man in his forties -- purchased a total of sixty tickets around the state, a $20 per person investment that ended up giving them each a huge return on their money! After splitting a massive $218.6 million, it's safe to say that these amigos are probably each other's richest friends!

The last winning ticket of this enormous jackpot belonged to Merle and Patricia Butler. The couple stayed up all night watching the news and surfing the internet to find out how people had won the jackpot. When word that the winning ticket had been purchased in their native town of Red Bud, Illinois, friends jokingly asked Merle if he was the winner. Little did they know! The retired couple came forward on April 18th to claim their prize's cash option payout of $111 million after taxes.

record powerball and mega millions jackpots

2. Mavis Wanczyk - 23 August 2017, Powerball, $758.7M

It looked like Powerball was on its way to a second billion-dollar jackpot, but that was not to be. Even so, the winner of the draw on 23 August 2017 went straight into the record books! Mavis Wanczyk, a hospital worker from Massachusetts, was the sole winner of an incredible $758.7 million jackpot prize. This win set a record for the second biggest American lottery jackpot ever awarded. It was also the highest annuitized jackpot and cash value prize ever won by a single ticket.

Surprisingly, Massachusetts Lottery officials and Wanczyk held a press conference shortly after the draw. This was quite unusual as big lottery winners tend to retain their privacy as long as possible. Apparently Wanczyk couldn't keep her jackpot win a secret!

1. WORLD RECORD JACKPOT! Lisa & John Robinson; The Nickel 95 Trust; & Marvin and Mae Acosta - 13 January 2016, Powerball, $1.58 Billion

US Powerball made significant rule changes in 2015, which they hoped would give them a billion-dollar jackpot by 2020. Turns out they only had to wait a few months, not years, to see their billionaire dreams come true.

After more than two months of rollovers, the jackpot was climbing closer and closer to the $1 billion mark. It was utter madness around the world as millions of people clamoured to buy Powerball tickets off- and online. When the jackpot finally rose to $1.58 billion, the whole world held its breath in anticipation. On 13 January 2016, three tickets with the winning numbers -- 4, 8, 19, 27, 34 and Powerball 10 -- made lottery history.

John and Lisa Robinson of Munford, Tennessee were so excited, they just had to let the entire nation know that they were one of the fantastically lucky winners. John, an Air Force veteran, and Lisa, who works in a dermatology clinic, participated in a television interview before they even claimed their winnings!

The Tennessee Lottery confirmed that the pair was indeed one of the historic lottery winners and the couple claimed its unbelievable $528.8 million share at a lottery press conference. The couple brought along their daughter Tiffany and their dog Abby, who promptly fell asleep as they were handed their epic cheque. Lisa and John decided to take the lump sum cash option of $327.8 million before taxes.

Another $528.7 million prize was claimed by The Nickel 95 Trust. The trustee is Maureen Smith, 70, of Melbourne Beach, Florida. The Trust also chose to receive the winnings in a one-time, lump-sum payment.

The final winning Powerball ticket belonged to Marvin and Mae Acosta from southern California. Unlike the other two winners, the Acostas waited seven months before they came forward to claim their third of the prize. The reason for the delay was that the couple had enlisted a team of lawyers and financial advisers to help handle this incredible prize.

Biggest American Lottery Jackpots - Can You Win One?

You may have noticed that NY Lotto jackpots are not included on this list and that's because state-operated lotteries have better winning odds than the big multi-state lotteries.

Winning the biggest American lottery jackpots is an incredible feat, and you’re probably envious of the winners! There is only one way to secure your place on our top ten list, and that is by playing the lottery! Choose your lottery and purchase your lottery tickets now!