Largest Lottery Win in the USA
When you talk about the largest lottery win in the USA you have to be careful because there are always two correct answers Ė one for the largest cash value jackpot and one for the largest advertised jackpot. This same principle applies in any country where jackpot winners are offered a choice between taking their prize as an annuity (which totals the jackpot sum advertised) or as a smaller lump sum of cash.
One might be forgiven for thinking that the lottery draw which has the largest advertised jackpot would also be the lottery draw with the largest lump sum option, but this isnít always the case by any means. The reason for this is that interest rates vary, so a cash sum at one point might well be worth more as a long term investment than a similar sum at another time, and it is the long term investment value on which the advertised jackpot amounts are based. Annuities are usually paid over a 25 to 30 year period, and will vary depending on the size of the jackpot and the interest rate.
The largest jackpot ever in the USA was won on the multi state game Megamillions on the 30th March 2012, and was for a total of $656 million, with a cash equivalent of $474 million. This prize was shared between three ticket holders from Illinois, Kansas and Maryland. The biggest win by a single ticket holder on the Megamillions was for $319 million (with a cash value of $202 million), and was won on the 12th March 2011 by a single player from Albany, New York.
The other large multi state lottery, the Powerball, saw a larger advertised single win jackpot however, with one ticket scooping the win promoted as $365 million on 18th February 2006. The winners, a syndicate of factory workers from Nebraska, actually received and shared a cash value of $177 million.
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