Top 11 Lotto Jackpot Winners

Top 11 Lotto Jackpot Winners

Lotteries in many ways, have existed across the globe for centuries now. Ancient kingdoms had their own lotto-based games, and the lure of winning a big amount of money just with a slight hint of luck has always attracted hordes of people to try it out. Billions of dollars are spent all over the world every single year to purchase lottery tickets, with many hopefuls buying several tickets to increase their chances of winning the grand jackpot, which often runs into several million dollars.

  • Did you know that more than 400 people became instant millionaires by winning lotteries in the USA alone, in 2016 ?
  • Can you believe that 67 lottery millionaires were created in the month of November itself, in 2016 ?
  • Do you know that the highest ever payout for a single lottery jackpot was a staggering $1.6 billion, which was shared between 3 people ?
  • Do you ever wonder how these instant mega millionaires spend their newly acquired wealth ?


Well, fret not, as we have got you covered with a detailed overlook of the top 10 biggest lotto winners in history.

1. $1.6 Billion Powerball, 2016

Lottery : Powerball
Country : USA
Date : January 13, 2016
Amount : $1.6 Billion
Winners : Divided 3 ways : John Robinson, Maureen Smith, and The Acostas

The biggest ever cash windfall in a single lottery jackpot was when a mammoth amount of $1.6 billion was equally divided among 3 different winners, with each winner netting around $528 million.

The first winners to stake their claim for the huge prize were Maureen Smith and her husband David Kaltschmidt, from Melbourne Beach in Florida. Upon receiving their share Smith vowed to help special people in her life, while her husband announced that he now plans to retire and enjoy life.

The second winners to come up were Lisa and John Robinson from Munford, Tennessee. The couple became instant celebrities in their hometown, which has only 6000 people. They appeared on the Today show as well, prior to collecting their prize.

However, the most interesting winners were Marvin and Mae Acosta, hailing from Chino Hills, who were missing for almost 6 months after the results were declared. The couple was taking things cautiously and only came forward with the winning ticket after consulting lawyers and preparing all the paperwork for a smooth transaction. Out of sheer generosity they also donated a check of $1 million to Balbir Atwal, who was the owner of the 7 eleven store from where the couple had purchased the winning ticket.


2. $758.57 Million Powerball, 2017

Lottery : Powerball
Country : USA
Date : August 23, 2017
Amount : $758.57 Million
Winners : Mavis Wanczyk

The single-largest winner in US Lotto history is Mavis Wanczyk, a 52 year old employee at the Mercy Medical Center in Massachusetts. She won an unprecedented amount of more than $758 million with her ticket which was purchased from Pride Station And Store.

She was famously quoted as saying that the first thing she did after she realized she had won, was call up her boss and tell him that she will not be coming to work anymore. Wanczyk has two adult children and plans to lead a happy retired life with them.

The owner of the store that sold the winning ticket also stands to get a commission of $50000, which he said he will donate to several charities.

Lottery winners are heavily taxed as well, and Powerball winners have two methods of collecting their winnings; either an annual payment for the next 30 years to recover the full amount, or a lump-sum amount paid all at once, but much less than the original winnings, which is what Wanczyk chose, as she collected a payment of $480.5 million.


3. $656 Million Mega Millions, 2012

Lottery : Mega Millions
Country : USA
Date : March 30, 2012
Amount : $656 Million
Winners : Merle and Patricia Butler, The 3 Amigos, and Unknown.

Apart from Powerball, the main lottery in the USA is Mega Millions, and the biggest ever jackpot via this agency was awarded on the night of 30th March 2012. The jackpot, totaling a staggering $656 million, was divided amongst 3 different winners, with each one pocketing a cool $218 million.

The most famous among those winners were an elderly couple called Merle and Patricia Butler, from Red Bud, Illinois. The couple claims they are just ordinary people who enjoy spending time with their family and friends, and do not believe that their lives would change a lot after this cash windfall. They believe they got very lucky and would like to use this money “to do some real good”. The couple took home $218.6 million, while the Moto Mart store which sold the jackpot ticket was awarded a bonus of $500,000.


4. $648 Million Mega Millions, 2013

Lottery : Mega Millions
Country : USA
Date : December 17, 2013
Amount : $648 Million
Winners : Ira Curry and Steve Tran

The second largest Mega Millions jackpot of all time was awarded on 17th December 2017, to two different winners. Ira Curry, of Stone Mountain was the first winner to come forward with the winning ticket, with the numbers she had chosen based on family birthdays as well as the golden number 7. A married woman with a daughter, Curry proceeded to resign from her job following her massive win. After all tax deductions, and opting to take a lump-sum cash amount, Curry received around $120 million as her winnings.

The other winner of this huge jackpot was a North Californian man called Steve Tran, who was fortunate enough to be dining in San Jose due to his preference for Vietnamese food there, when he decided to purchase 5 lottery tickets. The store owner who sold the winning ticket to him also received a cool $1 million bonus. Like many other jackpot winners, Tran too called up his boss and submitted his resignation immediately.


5. $590.5 Million Powerball, 2013

Lottery : Powerball
Country : USA (Florida)
Date : May 18, 2013
Amount : $590.5 Million
Winners : Gloria Mackenzie

One of the most incidents concerning a lottery winner happened in May 2013, when an 84-year-old woman won the Powerball jackpot, after purchasing a ticket from Publix, where a kind gentleman had allowed her to go ahead of him in the queue. Kindness never hurt anybody that much, did it ?

Gloria Mackenzie was standing in line at Publix with several other people, trying to purchase the Powerball lottery tickets. After a person allowed her to get ahead in line, she managed to buy 5 quick-pick tickets.

While her winning amount was well over the half a billion mark, she preferred to take a one time lump-sum amount of $370.9 million instead.


6. $587.5 Million Powerball, 2012

Lottery : Powerball
Country : USA (Arizona and Missouri)
Date : November 2012
Amount : $587.5 Million divided amongst two winners
Winners : Mathew Good and Cindy and Mark Hill.

Mathew Good of Arizona, tried his best to stay anonymous after learning that he had just won half of a mammoth jackpot amount of $587.5 million back in November 2012. Although he managed to hide for 2 weeks, Arizona state laws eventually revealed his identity and he soon collected his winnings in cash.

The winners of the other half of this jackpot were Mark and Cindy Hill from Missouri. Cindy had purchased the winning ticket Trex Mart in Dearborn, after dropping her daughter to school. The couple had decided to use a part of their windfall to help family members, including paying for the college education of all their grand children and their nephews and nieces.

The couple plan to go one several family trips, and Mark claimed he would like to buy his dream red Camaro. The Trex Mart store which sold them the ticket also pocketed a cool $50,000 as commission for selling the winning ticket.


7. $564 Million Powerball, 2015

Lottery : Powerball
Country : USA (North Carolina)
Date : Feb 11, 2015
Amount : $564 Million
Winners : Marie Holmes, Andrew Weber and Unknown.

A mammoth $564 million jackpot was awarded back in Feb 2015 to 3 different winners. The most well documented of those 3 winners was a single mother from North Carolina called Marie Holmes. A former employee of Wal-Mart and McDonalds, Holmes was unemployed at the time she realized she has struck the jackpot.

In a perfect rags to riches story, Holmes explained how she had been struggling to take care of her 4 children, including a 7 year old son with cerebral palsy.

Holmes said she had big plans to use the money to sort out her family for life, including buying her mother a house, and sending all her kids to colleges when its time. She even plans to complete college herself. Along with setting up bank accounts for her immediate family members, Holmes was advised to sign and secure her winning ticket, and seek legal advise over how to claim the jackpot.


8. $448 Million Powerball, 2013

Lottery : Powerball
Country : USA
Date : August 13, 2013
Amount : $448 Million
Winners : “Ocean’s 16 ” , and 2 other unidentified winners.

One of the most inspiring and heart-warming lottery wins in history, saw 16 co-workers of the Ocean County Vehicle Maintenance facility in New Jersey win 1/3rd of the mammoth $448 million jackpot in 2013.

All of these 16 people were victims of the Super storm Sandy, which ravaged the area and each one was affected to a certain degree. While some lost the roof over their head, some suffered massive financial losses and some even lost custody of their pets. Hence, the whole world was extremely happy that these victims got such a massive cash windfall to rehabilitate their lives and live happily ever after.

They were known as the Ocean’s 16, and always-purchased lotto tickets as a group. All 16 of them even returned to work the very next day, which is uncommon amongst Lotto jackpot winners.


9. $447.8 Million Powerball, 2017

Lottery : Powerball
Country : USA
Date : June 10th , 2017
Amount : $447.8 Million
Winners : Jeff Lindsay

As recently as June 2017, a Californian man called Jeff Lindsay became one of the biggest single winners in Powerball history, when he turned in his lone winning ticket to claim the mammoth $447.8 million jackpot.

The winning numbers on his ticket were 20, 26, 32, 38 and 58, while the elusive Powerball number was 3. Getting the Powerball jackpot single-handedly had odds of almost 1 in175 million, and Mr. Lindsay can definitely consider himself more than lucky.

The winning ticket was purchased from Marietta Liquor and Deli in Menifee, and the store owners were awarded a bonus of $1 million for selling the prized ticket.


10. $425 Million Powerball, 2014

Lottery : Powerball
Country : USA
Date : February 19th , 2014
Amount : $425.3 Million
Winner : Raymond Buxton

In February 2014, a Californian guy called Raymond Baxton struck gold as he emerged as the single winner of a massive $425.3 million jackpot.

Upon winning the huge amount, Baxton said that he will deposit more than half of his winnings in several accounts he uses for his funds. He also claimed that he would like to use a portion of that winning amount to start a charitable foundation to eradicate child hunger and promote education. Although that statement gained him a lot of respect, he is actually best known for turning up at the lottery office with his winning ticket while wearing a T-shirt which read “Luck Of The Jedi I Have”. That T-shirt made him go viral and he became one of the best known Lottery jackpot winners in recent years.


11. $415 Million Mega Millions, 2014

Lottery : Mega Millions
Country : USA
Date : March 18th , 2014
Amount : $415 Million
Winner : Raymond Moyer and Robyn Collier, and Anonymous

Both 35 year old residents of Merritt Island, Raymond Moyer and Robyn Collier emerged as the half winners of the $414 million Mega Million jackpot, which was drawn on 18th March 2014. The other half was won by an anonymous person.

Both of them are members of the Cobie And Seamus Trust, and had purchased their destined ticket from a Publix outlet in Merritt Island. The retailer of that outlet was awarded a handsome bonus of $100,000 for selling the lucky ticket.

The winners say they plan to invest this money smartly to ensure they are financially secure for generations to come. They also plan to travel the world as well as attend as many Notre Dame football games as they can.