Largest Lottery Win in the USA
As neither Powerball nor Mega Millions have jackpot caps, the top-tier prizes for both games have the ability to reach truly enormous sums. Here’s a breakdown of some of the biggest prizes in US lottery history!
On Wednesday 13th January 2016, Powerball smashed the record previously held by Mega Millions for the world’s largest jackpot as three ticket holders – one from California, one from Florida and one from Tennessee – won a top prize worth US$1.58 billion.
Powerball also holds the record for creating the single largest US lottery winner. The record is currently held by Powerball ticket holder Gloria MacKenzie, 84, from Zephyrhills, Florida who won the colossal US$590.5 million jackpot from the Powerball draw on 18th May 2013, although she chose to take the cash lump-sum of US$370.8 million before taxes.
The Mega Millions draw on 30th March 2012 saw the jackpot reach a phenomenal US$656 million (US$474 million cash value) before finally being won by three ticket holders from Illinois, Kansas and Maryland who matched all six numbers drawn to share the record-breaking jackpot prize. The lottery game held the world record for nearly four years, and is still the second-largest jackpot in history.
Two of the winning ticket holders were named as Merle and Patricia Butler from Red Bud, Illinois and three work colleagues, dubbed ‘The Three Amigos’, from Milford Mill, Maryland. The third winning ticket holder purchased their Mega Millions ticket in Kansas, which is one of the few states in the US to allow winners to remain anonymous, and decided not to go public with their good fortune.
Other Notable US Lottery Wins
- The third-largest jackpot in US lottery history was worth an incredible US$648 million and was again won in a Mega Millions draw. After 22 draws without a top prize winner, the jackpot was eventually won on 17th December 2013 and shared between Ira Curry, a grandmother from Georgia, and Steve Tran, a truck driver from California.
- The Powerball draw on 28th November 2012 offered the third-largest jackpot in the game’s history - a colossal US$587.5 million. This draw saw Mark and Cindy Hill from Missouri and Matthew Good from Arizona share the jackpot and walk away with purchased their winning ticket in Missouri while the second winning ticket was purchased in Arizona by Matthew Good.
- The Powerball jackpot reached US$488.4 million in the draw on 7th August 2013 and was shared between three winning ticket holders. One winning ticket was purchased in Minnesota by Paul White while the other two were purchased in New Jersey – one by Mario Scarnici of Monmouth Junction and the other by a 16-member syndicate from Ocean County, nicknamed 'Oceans 16'.