Powerball and Mega Millions: The 16 largest jackpots in American lottery history

·4 min read

Who are the biggest lottery winners of all time?

(AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

It’s the American dream. Popping into a convenience store or gas station, plunking down a couple of dollars for a handful of Powerball or Mega Millions tickets. The result can be literally life-changing.

And the prizes are often nothing to sneeze over. Here’s a look at the 16 biggest lottery jackpots in Powerball and Mega Millions history.

16. $543 million (Powerball)

(AP Photo/Chris O’Meara, File)

Date: July 24, 2018.

How many winners? 1.

A group of 11 office workers in California split the winning ticket and chose the $320 million lump sum payment.

15. $559 million (Powerball)

(AP Photo/Steven Senne)

Date: January 6, 2018.

How many winners? 1.

New Hampshire law required that the names of lottery winners become public, but the woman who won this jackpot went to court to protect her identity and won. She claimed the prize through a trust named Good Karma Family and made several quick payments to various charities.

14. $564 million (Powerball)

(AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)

Date: February 2015.

How many winners? 3.

The three winners hailed from North Carolina, Texas and Puerto Rico.

13. $587 million (Powerball)

(AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

Date: November 2012.

How many winners? 2.

The winners from Arizona and Missouri both opted to take the $192 million cash payment.

12. $590 million (Powerball)

(AP Photo/Steve Cannon)

Date: May 18, 2013.

How many winners? 1.

Gloria Mackenzie was 84 years old when she won the drawing, becoming the oldest Powerball winner in history. It was also the biggest jackpot in Powerball history at the time and Mackenzie opted for the $278 million payment after taxes.

11. $648 million (Mega Millions)

(Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

Date: December 2013.

How many winners? 2.

The two winning tickets were purchased in California and Georgia.

10. $656 million (Mega Millions)

(AP)

Date: March 30, 2012.

How many winners? 3.

The $656 million jackpot was a record at the time.

9. $685 million (Powerball)

(AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes, File)

Date: October 2021.

How many winners? 1.

The winner has yet to come forward, but the ticket was reportedly sold in Morro Bay, California.

8. $687 million (Powerball)

(AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast, File)

Date: October 27, 2018.

How many winners? 2.

The winning tickets were sold in New York and Iowa.

7. $699.8 million (Powerball)

(Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Date: October 4, 2021.

How many winners? 1.

All of the recent chatter about big-time lottery winnings come from the Powerball ticket sold in Morro Bay, California that had all five winning numbers—the odds of the happening are near 1 in 293 million!

Now the lucky winner has a dream-scenario decision: take a lump sum payment of $496 million, or opt for payouts over the next 29 years.

6. $731 million (Powerball)

(Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via AP)

Date: January 20, 2021.

How many winners? 1.

Both the Powerball and Mega Millions had jackpots of more than $700 million at the time of this drawing. The unidentified Powerball winner hailed from Maryland.

5. $758 million (Powerball)

(AP Photo/Steven Senne)

Date: August 2017.

How many winners? 1.

Winner Mavis Wanczyk of Chicopee, Massachusetts chose the lump sum payment of $480 million.

4. $768 million (Powerball)

(AP)

Date: March 27, 2019.

How many winners? 1.

Wisconsin’s Manuel Franco became the biggest single Powerball winner of all time at just the age of 24.

3. $1.05 billion (Mega Millions)

(Photo Illustration by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Date: January 2021.

How many winners? 1.

The winning ticket was claimed by a lottery club in Oakland County, Michigan. It received about $557 million after tax.

2. $1.537 million

(AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

Date: October 23, 2018.

How many winners? 1.

An unidentified winner from South Carolina became the world’s largest winner on a single ticket. Wow!

1. $1.586 billion (Powerball)

(AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

Date: January 2016.

How many winners? 3.

The largest lottery prize ever was won by three different sets of people. John and Lisa Robinson of Munford, Tennessee dominated headlines after immediately coming forward and appearing on The Today Show on the advice of their lawyer.

All three winners opted for a lump sum payout of $327.8 million after taxes.

1

1