Lottery is all about dreams and winning odds. If the dreams are always disproportionately high and daring, we cannot say the same about winning odds. The chance to win the jackpot for the greatest lotto games in the world are one in about 2 million. Not so encouraging, huh? Still, billions of people from all around the world keep on dreaming and, of course, on playing… Although many of these dreams vanish once the numbers are drawn and the results published, there are still those lucky winners who hit it big. Who are the luckiest lottery fans? Let’s meet some of them while enumerating the top 10 biggest lottery wins.
1. Mega Millions - $656 million
The world was going crazy in February - March 2012 as the Mega Millions top prize was climbing and climbing… until it passed the half a billion threshold and reached the staggering amount of $656 million. It was, at that time, the first time in the history of world lottery games that a prize was reaching such a high amount. Mega Millions tickets were then selling like fresh bread and many dreams were floating in the air. Eventually, the prize was won: March 30th Mega Millions draw had 3 winning tickets sold in Kansas, Maryland and Illinois. Each ticket holder(s) cashed in a fabulous $218.6 million.
2. Powerball - $590.5 million
Another frenzy moment seized the world earlier this year. As the weather was getting warmer and warmer in spring, Powerball lottery jackpot was growing bigger and bigger. Its fans were wondering then if it will succeed to steal Mega Million’s position as leader of the lottery universe. Although the prize got to an impressive amount, it did not break the record. However, America’s favorite lottery is the proud holder of a different world record – the biggest win on a single lotto ticket. Gloria MacKenzie – a 84 year old Florida resident – came out two weeks after the results were published claiming her $590.5 million prize.
3. Powerball - $587.5 million
As you can see, the recent Powerball record went over a few millions over its previous one. The $587.5 million prize was won last year in November. The interesting bit about this top Powerball lottery jackpot is that its initial value was of only $235 million, but the sales for the respective draw were so high that the jackpot amount had a significant boost by the time the numbers were drawn.
4. Mega Millions - $400 million
Going back to the world record holder, $400 million is the amount of its 2nd largest prize won back in 2007 by a couple from New Jersey and a man in his early 50s from Georgia. If looking over this list, you think that Powerball holds too much space over Mega Millions, you should know that the latter has recently changed the rules of the game and promises even bigger jackpots than before.
5. Powerball - $400 million
This recent win was claimed earlier this fall: on September 18th 2013, a lucky South Carolina lotto fan, who decided to remain anonymous, guessed correctly all five numbers 7, 10, 22, 32, 35 and Powerball 19. This was the 4th biggest Powerball prize in this US lotto’s history and the 5th biggest jackpot lottery win in the whole world.
6. Mega Millions - $380 million
Two lucky ticket holders shared this awesome prize the world’s leading lottery delivered back in 2011: a nice couple from Washington and a woman from Idaho. While the McCullars were making plans on how to use the money to help their family members, Holly Lahti decided to go into hiding so as not to share the money with her estranged spouse.
7. Powerball - $365 million
What would you do with $365 million? Too much planning is needed for such a huge amount of money. This was not the case for the winning ticket’s holders as there were eight of them and they had to share the money. This top Powerball prize was cashed in by eight Nebraska residents who worked at that time for ConAgra meatpacking plant.
8. The Big Game - $363 million
The name Big Game is already history, but its biggest prize is still in the top 10. Mega Millions’ ancestor, Big Game delivered the $363 million jackpot in May 2000. This impressive amount was claimed by two couples, one from Michigan, one from Illinois.
9. Powerball $340 million
Another historical win that is sliding down in the top as lotto jackpots get bigger and bigger, the $340 Powerball top prize was won in October 2005 by two Oregon couples.
10. Powerball $338.3 million
One of this year’s Powerball top wins, the $338.3 million jackpot was taken home by a Dominican Republic emigrant living in the US. After years of hard work, Petro Quezada succeeded to accomplish his American dream.