Largest Lottery Win in the USA
The largest lottery win in the USA came on Wednesday 13th January 2016, when three Powerball ticket holders – one from California, one from Florida and one from Tennessee – shared a top prize worth US$1.58 billion. This win smashed the record previously held by Mega Millions for the world’s largest-ever lottery jackpot.
The Tennessee ticket was owned by John and Lisa Robinson of Munford, who opted to take the cash lump sum of US$327.8 million, rather than receive US$528.8 million over 29 years. The Nickel 95 Trust was the winner from Florida, headed by trustee Maureen Smith of Melbourne Beach, where the ticket was sold. They also chose the cash option. The owners of the winning Californian ticket came forward to collect their prize over six months after the draw, also opting for the lump sum. Marvin and Mae Acosta made a statement regarding their share of the record-breaking jackpot, requesting privacy and announcing that much of the money had already been given to a charitable trust.
Other Big US Lottery Wins
Mega Millions holds the record for creating the largest US lottery win on a single ticket. An anonymous South Carolina woman won the entirety of a $1.53 billion Mega Millions jackpot on October 23rd, 2018, but waited over four months to claim her prize – opting for a lump sum of $877 million before taxes. Through a spokesperson, she made a statement acknowledging the “tremendous social responsibility” the nine-figure cash sum brought with it, and announcing substantial donations to charities and arts organisations.
The largest Powerball jackpot win on a single ticket occurred on March 27th, 2019, when Wisconsin man Manuel Franco won $768 million. He too opted for a cash sum over the annuity payment, walking away with $477 million before taxes.
A 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. This win stood as a world record for nearly four years, and is still the second-largest lottery 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.