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Curious about the biggest lottery wins to date? Read on.
The odds of hitting the jackpot prize in the lottery are very slim, but that’s not enough reason to stop people from dreaming how it could change their lives for the better by winning a huge amount of cash. In the US, they had total revenue of $73 billion from lottery sales which makes Americans spend around $233.04 on buying lottery tickets in 2016.
The last ten years garnered some of the biggest lottery wins in world history, which includes the $1.586 billion Powerball grand prize in 2016 in the US.
But not all wins will have a happy ending result, giving some of the winners who spent large amounts of money a taste of a tragic loss. Read on to find out the biggest lottery wins and losses in history.
One of the biggest lottery wins was from three winning jackpot tickets for the Powerball lottery sold in Puerto Rico, North Carolina, and Texas on February 11, 2015, where each winner received around $188 million each from a total of $564.1 million.
One of the winning Powerball tickets came from the Appletree Food Mart in Princeton, north of Dallas, while the other one was from Brunswick County, Wilmington City, North Carolina.
33 players who joined with tickets matched except the Powerball but were all eligible for an estimated $1 million prize. The Powerball jackpot prize grew big from its $40 million guaranteed starting point for two months without any winners.
The states of Delaware, Kansas, Maryland, North Dakota, Ohio, and South Carolina permit people who became instant millionaires to remain completely unidentified until they present themselves to claim their prize. However, Texas does not permit winners of the lottery to have a representative to claim their prize. Some states also follow the same rule.
People can buy Powerball tickets in 44 states, where the chance of hitting the jackpot prize is 1 in 175 million players.
The winning tickets for the $587.5 million Powerball were sold in Arizona and Missouri on November 28, 2012. Cindy and Mark Hill from Dearborn, Mo. claimed half of the jackpot prize and laid out their plans for supporting the college educations of their four nieces and nephews, and their four granddaughters. There were reports that the following year, there was an email phishing scam that used the Hills’ name with a pledge of a share of their winnings to obtain their bank account number and details.
The other winner was Matthew Good from Phoenix, Arizona. He wanted to remain anonymous, but officials identified him in response to requests for public records. Good declined to take part in announcing his winning ticket in a news conference, where he told officials that he would rather remain anonymous than going public about his winnings.
Good got his winning ticket from a food shop near his house. He decided to take the $192 million cash payout instead of an annuity payment for 30 years.
On May 18, 2013, Gloria MacKenzie won the $590.5 million Powerball jackpot in Florida. Two weeks after hitting the second-largest lottery jackpot, Gloria emerged but didn’t attend the press conference. But under Florida law, her name was revealed.
MacKenzie bought the winning ticket of one of the biggest lottery wins at a public market in Zephyrhills. She opted to receive her prize in a lump-sum payment amounting to $370.8 million pre-tax.
Gloria MacKenzie is a mother of four, also a grandmother and a great-grandmother. She did not speak with any reporters during her visit at the lottery headquarters and left riding a silver Ford Focus with her family. MacKenzie also told the lottery authorities that at the time she was buying her lottery ticket, a man allowed her to go ahead of him to buy the winning quick-pick ticket.
The $590.5 million jackpot just passed the $587.6 million jackpot split by Missouri and Arizona ticket holders and is next to the $656 million Mega Millions jackpot with three winners from Maryland, Kansas, and Illinois.
MacKenzie is the record-holder for the largest sole lottery jackpot winner in world history. She had 60 days to claim her lump-sum payment from the drawing date of the lottery.
MacKenzie lived in a simple grey duplex house across a cow pasture, as her neighbors know her for being modest and did not mention anything about her winnings.
Among the biggest lottery wins, the winning tickets purchased in California and Georgia on December 17, 2013, belong to Steve Tran and Ira Curry respectively.
A resident of Stone Mountain, Georgia, Ira Curry said the combination of family and the family’s lucky number 7 were her winning numbers in Mega Millions. She bought her ticket at an Atlanta newsstand and immediately claimed her winnings at the state’s lottery headquarters. Curry decided to receive a lump-sum cash payment in the amount of $173.8 million after taxes.
Georgia has a 6 percent income tax and 25 percent federal income tax withheld more than $5,000 from state lottery prizes.
Steve Tran from San Jose, California bought several tickets at many different outlets on his way as a delivery driver. Lottery officials said that the second winning ticket came from a gift shop in San Jose.
The $648 million jackpot prize was the second-largest in US lottery history. The owner of Gateway Newsstand, Young Soo Lee, was thrilled when she found out that the winning ticket was from her store.
Three winning tickets were lucky to hit the $656 million Mega Millions as one of the biggest wins in lottery history, sold in Kansas, Illinois, and Maryland on March 30, 2012.
Before claiming their prize, Merle and Patricia Butler from Red Bud, Illinois, decided to keep their win a secret for three weeks. Married for 41 years at the time they won the lottery, the couple planned to watch some St. Louis Cardinals games and purchase a new car.
The winners from Maryland call themselves “The Three Amigos” where they all worked in a public education system in Maryland. They combined their money and bought 60 tickets of the Mega Millions lottery.
There were two winning tickets each from New York and Iowa on October 27, 2018. One of the biggest lottery wins is from Robert Bailey from New York City, where he intended to do what is right with his money. He said that he will still continue playing his number in the lottery as long as he can.
Lerynne West from Redfield, Iowa, was the other winner of the $687.8 million Powerball jackpot. Her ticket got lost for a time, but they eventually found it on the floor of her sister’s truck. With her winnings, her family founded a charitable foundation, while she went to retirement and looked forward to buying a new vehicle for a long vacation.
The $758.7 million jackpot prize from Powerball is the largest for a solo winner and is one of the biggest lottery wins in history. That person was Mavis Wanczyk, who bought the ticket in Chicopee, Massachusetts, and won on August 23, 2017.
The Massachusetts law requires winners of the lottery to go public, but some winners in the past created a trust and made a trustee receive their winnings to keep their anonymity safe. The state also allows lottery winners one full year to claim their jackpot prizes.
Wanczyk decided to receive a $480.5 million lump-sum payment over the 30 payments for 29 years. An estimated $120.1 million will be the federal income tax and Massachusetts will get $24 million in state coffers.
A 24-year-old Manuel Franco from Wisconsin was among the biggest lottery wins who won the $768.4 million jackpot prize from Powerball on March 27, 2019. Franco took the $477 million lump-sum payment from the Wisconsin Lottery and intended not to play Powerball again.
This event came two years after the last Powerball jackpot in Wisconsin, where a resident of Milwaukee hit the $156.2 million jackpot on March 22, 2017.
In Wisconsin, the lottery winner can choose a one-time lump-sum payment of $477 million or with an estimated annuity of $768.4 distribution for 29 years.
The lucky winner from South Carolina decided to remain anonymous, as the state permits this kind of option for lottery winners. It was on October 23, 2018, when the lucky draw of among the biggest lottery wins was made, but the winner only claimed the cash prize on March 4th the following year. With the help of her lawyer, she remained anonymous and demanded respect for her decision. The winner opted for a one-time lump-sum payment of almost $878 million.
She will donate a portion of her winnings to several charities, as stated by her lawyer.
With purchases from Tennessee, Florida, and California, the winning tickets amounted to nearly $528.8 million each during the January 13, 2016 Powerball draw, making one of the biggest lottery wins in history.
From Munford, Tennessee, the Robinson family claimed their winnings together with their dog.
The winner from Florida claimed her prize with trust and confessed that she had been using her lucky combination for several years before it paid off.
Winners from California wanted to protect their anonymity and did not want to become public figures. They designated some of their winnings for a trust to a charity.
Now that you know that it is indeed possible to win in lotteries, are you ready to make your biggest bet ever?