Biggest lottery jackpots in U.S. history
Posted May 1, 2016
The Powerball drawing on Saturday night cinched the No. 10 spot on the list of the largest jackpots in U.S. history.
A single winning ticket was sold for the jackpot to a player in California.
Here's our list of the largest lottery prizes -- including Powerball and Mega Millions jackpots -- ever.
1. $1.6 billion Powerball
January 13, 2016: The record-shattering jackpot was split three ways. Two of the winning ticket holders came forward soon after the drawing. But, it took six months for the final winners to come foreward -- a couple in Chino Hills, California, who claimed their prize on July 19.
One winning ticket was sold to John and Lisa Robinson of Munford, Tennessee -- who appeared on NBC's "Today" show before ever cashing their ticket in. They opted to take their $528.8 million share of the prize in one lump-sum payment of $327.8 million.
Maureen Smith, a 70-year-old from Melbourne Beach, Florida, also claimed a third of the winnings. She told the Florida Lottery that she had played the lottery -- and bought tickets with the same six numbers -- for years before winning the jackpot.
Mae and Marvin Acosta claimed the prize, but refused to speak to the media. Not much is known about the winners aside from the fact that they waited more than six months to come forward. The Acostas released a statement explaining the delay and saying they had been assembling a team of advisers.
2. $656 million Mega Millions
March 30, 2012: According to Mega Millions, this was the single largest jackpot pooled by any lottery in the world. Ever. But like most of the other grand prizes on this list, the pot was split among multiple winning tickets with all the right numbers. This jackpot had three.
A retired couple from Illinois, Merle and Patricia Butler, received one of the $218.6 million slices of the top prize. "We are just everyday people who have worked hard all our life...We just happened to hit it big," Merle said. Patricia added that they planned to use "part of the winnings to do some real good."
Another winning ticket was divided among a group of friends in Maryland that dubbed themselves the "Three Amigos."
The third winner is still unknown. That ticket was purchased in Kansas, which is one of the few states that allows lottery winners to remain anonymous.
3. $648 million Mega Millions
December 17, 2013: Two winners split this jackpot, including Ira Curry, a Georgia woman, who said she bet on a combination of family birthdays.
The other winner, Steve Tran, was working as a delivery driver when he bought a Mega Millions ticket in San Jose, California. Tran said he called his boss after he won to say, "I hit the jackpot. I don't think I'm going to come in today, tomorrow, or ever."
4. $590.5 million Powerball
May 18, 2013: 84-year-old Gloria Mackenzie of Florida had the one-and-only winning ticket, but it could've easily gone to someone else. "While in line at Publix, another lottery player was kind enough to let me go ahead of them in line to purchase the winning quick-pick ticket," Mackenzie said.
5. $587.5 million Powerball
November 28, 2012: Winner Matthew Good managed to remain anonymous after he learned that he had one of the two winning tickets. But thanks to public record laws, the Arizona resident's identity was eventually revealed.
The other winners, Cindy and Mark Hill of Missouri, had warned their daughter not to get her hopes up because winning "probably never happens." But after realizing their ticket had the winning combination, they made plans to take her to the beach and buy her a horse "in a couple years." Oh, and, for Mark, a red Camaro.
6. $564 million Powerball
February 11, 2015: One of three winners was Marie Holmes of North Carolina. The single mom used to work at Walmart, Food Lion, McDonald's and Subway to support her four children, including a seven-year-old son with cerebral palsy. She said she plans to spend her winnings on her kids, finishing college, donating to charity, and buying her mother a house.
The other two winning tickets included one purchased by an anonymous player in Puerto Rico. The last was cashed in by Andrew Weber, who claimed it on behalf of a trust in Texas.
7. $540 million Mega Millions
July 8, 2016: Lottery officials say a single winning ticket for this grand prize was sold in Indiana.
8. $487 million Powerball
July 30, 2016: The lone winning ticket for Saturday's Powerball jackpot -- estimated at $487 million -- was sold in New Hampshire.
9. $448.4 million Powerball
August 7, 2013: This one's a heart warming tale. One of three jackpot tickets was bought by a group of 16 victims of Superstorm Sandy. Dubbed the "Ocean's 16" -- they worked for the Ocean County vehicle maintenance facility.
Another winner was a project engineer in Minnesota who said he had dreamed of taking home the prize "so many times in my head." The third was claimed by a 70-year-old man in New Jersey.
10. $447.8 million Powerball
June 10, 2017: One lucky player in California snatched the entire jackpot, according to lottery officials. The ticket holder had not yet come forward to claim his or her prize as of June 11.
11. $435 million Powerball
February 22, 2017: A ticket holder in Indiana was the sole winner of this massive jackpot. The individual's identity remains unknown -- the winner used a corporation to shield his or her identity.
12. $429.6 million Powerball
May 7, 2016: A Powerball jackpot winner was drawn in New Jersey. At $429.6 million, it is one of the single biggest winning tickets ever.
13. $425.3 million Powerball
February 19, 2014: B. Raymond Buxton walked into a California lottery office on April 1 wearing a t-shirt that read: "Luck of the Jedi I Have." He wasn't kidding. The California retiree was the drawing's sole winner. Buxton said he would use the winnings for charitable causes and travel.
14. $414 million Mega Millions
March 18, 2014: One of two winning tickets was bought at a liquor store in Maryland and cashed in by an anonymous player. The other belonged to Floridians Raymond Moyer and Robyn Collier. They said they plan to invest, travel and attend Notre Dame football games with their winnings.
15. $399.4 million Powerball
September 18, 2013: South Carolina allowed this winner to shield his or her identity, so all we know is that this winning ticket was sold in at a Murphy USA gas station in Lexington, South Carolina.
16. $390 million Mega Millions
March 6, 2007: A couple living in New Jersey, Elaine and Harold Messner, plan to use their $195 million cut of the jackpot to retire early. Another winner, Georgia truck driver Eddie Nabors, told Forbes he wants to "do a lot of fishing."