First I have to say, that the biggest lottery jackpots own USA lotteries. You are an inveterate Powerball or Mega Millions player never forgetting to pick up your tickets or scratch cards on your way back home from the office, like countless other Americans. You are also very optimistic hitting the jackpot one day sooner or later and keep dreaming about collecting the top prize. But do you know how lucky you need to pocket the Powerball or Mega Millions jackpot?

Your chances (or anybody’s for that matter) of having an unprecedented spell of extraordinary good fortune (like winning the Powerball grand purse) becomes somewhat fathomable when quantified in terms of odds. So here is it-you’ve one in 292 million chances of pocketing the Powerball jackpot and one in 259 million chances of garnering the Mega Millions top purse. And what are your odds of collecting both the Mega Millions and Powerball purses? Well, it is 1 in 75, 648, 252, 765, 957, and 300!

Dying in a car mishap or becoming the US president would seem more likely relatively speaking as getting fanged by a rattlesnake or run over by a truck. Yet the average American on the street is not deterred by the incredible level of uncertainty associated with winning the jackpot, spending close to $200 yearly on sweepstake coupons.

15 Biggest Worldwide Winners of the Lottery

In the following paragraphs below the table narratives about the 15 biggest (read luckiest) winners in US and global lottery history have been outlined.

Summary table of 15 biggest worldwide lottery winners

Powerball and MegaMillions jackpot records

Biggest USA lottery jackpot history records

Rank Date Winners Country Lottery Prize Story
1 13th January 2016 3  CA, FL, TN Powerball $1,586.4 billion Click here
2 23th August 2017 1  MA Powerball $758.7 million Click here
3 30th March 2010 3  IL, KS, MD Mega Millions $656 million Click here
4 17th December 2013 2  CA, GA Mega Millions $648 million Click here
5 18th May 2013 1  FL Powerball $590.5 million Click here
6 28th November 2012 2  AZ, MO Powerball $587.5 million Click here
7 11th February 2015 3  NC, TR, TX Powerball $564.1 million Click here
8 6th January 2018 1  NH Powerball $559.7 million Click here
9 8th July 2016 1  IN Mega Millions $536 million Click here
10 30th July 2016 1  NH Powerball $487 million Click here
11 5th January 2018 1  FL Mega Millions $451 million Click here
12 7th August 2013 3  MN, NJ 2x Powerball $448.4 million Click here
13 10th June 2017 1  CA Powerball $447.8 million Click here
14 22nd February 2017 1  IN Powerball $435.3 million Click here
15 7th May 2016 1  NJ Powerball $429.6 million Click here

1. Three ticket holders jointly pocket the biggest ever lottery jackpot of US$1.586 billion in Powerball

Powerball logoThe week leading up to January 13th, 2016 was destined to be perhaps the most momentous and landmark date in the history of the US lottery. For the first in Powerball lottery history since the sweepstake event was first held in April 22, 1992, three ticket holders were super lucky to be declared the joint winners of the Powerball jackpot that has peaked at a stupendous high of US$1.586 billion or about $AUD 2.1 billion. The winners hailing from Chino Hills, California, Florida, and Tennessee respectively each went home with a cool 609.247 US$ million.

2. Mavis Wanczyk creates sweepstake history by pocketing a landslide US$ 758.7 million Powerball top purse

Mavis Wanczyk, a Massachusetts resident and an employee of the Chicopee Medical Center became the biggest ever Powerball top prize winner playing on a single ticket in August 2017. Wanczyk had purchased the winning ticket from the Pride Station and Store that was close to her office.  The winning numbers are drawn on the night of August 23rd, 2017 6, 7, 16, 23, and 26 completely matched with Mavis’s coupon, including the Powerball number 4. Wanczyk remembers purchasing a total of 3 coupons out of which she personally picked up the numbers for the third. She, like most other extremely lucky winners, agreed to take a one-time lump-sum payment of $480.5 million.

3. Three players from three states share the record Mega Millions jackpot of $656 million

Trailing the largest ever sweepstake win in US lottery history (Powerball $1.586 billion) is the record-shattering Powerball top purse of $656 million which was shared by three winners. The Mega Millions draw that witnessed three ticket holders sharing the mega prize was organized in 2012 on 30th March. The winners were from the states of Kansas, Illinois, and Maryland and each of the winners pocketed $218.6 million each. The player from Ottawa, Kansas remained anonymous. The second claimants was Merle and Patricia from Red Bud, Illinois and the third was the ‘Three Amigos’ from Milford Mill, Maryland.

4. Two Winners of Mega Millions $648 jackpot of which a Georgian woman pockets half

Ira Curry from Stone Mountain in Georgia became one of the two second biggest Mega Millions grand purse winners in the history of the multistate lottery history franchise. The other winner was Steve Tran from Northern California. Both of them carved up the top prize of $648 million each receiving a cool $324 million. State lottery authorities declared that she had bought a single slip, and selected the numbers on her own using her family members’ birthday dates and the family’s lucky number (7) as clues. The winning numbers were 8, 14,17, 20, and 39 and the Mega Ball number was 7.

5. Gloria Mackenzie and octogenarian from Florida pocket $590.5 million Powerball Jackpot

84-year old Gloria Mackenzie from Florida became the 2nd biggest Powerball jackpot winner on 18th May 2013 when she laid claims to a mind-boggling purse of US$590.5 million.  The jackpot had been rolling after successive draws held in the past two months failed to produce a winner. The rolled-over purse peaked at $590.1 million before it was claimed by the Floridian octogenarian, eclipsing the previous payoff of $587.5 million made out in November 2012. Mackenzie chose to take a single lump-sum payment of $370.8 million (before tax).

6. A couple from Missouri and a player from Arizona share the $587.5 million Powerball jackpot

An elderly couple from Dearborn, Missouri, Mark, and Cindy Hill was declared the joint winners of the Powerball jackpot amounting to $587.5 million along with a ticket holder from Arizona. The draw for the grand raffle was held on November 28th, 2012. The participant from Arizona who turned up to claim half of the whopping $587.5 million did not reveal his identity. Mark and Cindy Hall chose to take the prize purse in cash.

7. Three players evenly split US$564.1 million Powerball top purse on Feb 11th, 2015

The Powerball draw held on 11th February 2015 saw the jackpot staggering to a peak of US$564.1 million. And the grand purse was evenly split between three joint winners from North Carolina, Texas, and Puerto Rico correspondingly. The first winner identified herself as Marie Holmes from North Carolina. The second winner was a trust-based in Texas that preferred to stay anonymous, and the third winning ticket holder was from Puerto Rico who also did not identify himself/herself.

8. A New Hampshire resident wins a US$559 Powerball jackpot but remains anonymous

There was only one ticket that matched all the numbers including the Powerball number for the draw organized on 6th January 2018 which was a Saturday night. The ticket was sold at a store in Reeds Ferry Market in Merrimack, South of Concord in New Hampshire. Umpteen locals paid a visit to the convenience store to congratulate Sam Safa, the proprietor since he opened the outlet early in the morning. The winner who was yet to come forward became the 8th largest jackpot winner in the US.

9. The ninth entry is a repeat of the 7th serial number

The US Mega Millions jackpot of US$536 million was won by the Warrens family from Indiana

There was only one lucky winner that claimed the US$ 536 Mega Millions jackpot the draw for which took place on 8th July 2016. The propitious winner happened to be the Warren family from Indiana. A total of 5 tokens were bought by the Warrens while they were driving the kids to a sporting facility. After returning home, they just happened to check the winning numbers on the internet and could not believe their eyes when they discovered that the figures completely matched those on one of the tickets. The family became the largest single-ticket sweepstake winner.

10. The eighth-largest Powerball top purse of $487 million is pocketed by a family from New Hampshire

A family from New Hampshire became the eighth largest winner in Mega Millions raffles history following the draw held on 30th July 2016. The numbers on the winning ticket thoroughly corresponded with the ones picked up in the sweepstake-11, 17, 21, 23, 32, and 5, the Powerball number. The grand purse on a roll since 11th May had burgeoned to a staggering $487 million after 22 successive draws failed to throw up a jackpot claimer. The family had bought the ticket from a supermarket in Raymond, NH.

11. Shane Missler from Port Richey in Florida comes forward to claim $281,874,999 Mega Millions jackpot

Shane Missler hailing from Port Richey in Florida who is all of 20-years old came forward to claim the 4th biggest Mega Millions top prize of $450 million on 5th Jan 2018. Like the majority of jackpot winners, he decided to receive a sum of $281,874,999 in one single payment after taxes. Missler had purchased the lucky Quick Pick coupon from a ‘7-Eleven’ outlet in Port Richey. Interestingly enough, the ticket was purchased with money he had pocketed from a scratch card slip.

He first broke the news of his unparalleled stroke of luck to his brother and thereafter his father.

12. Three winners strike gold after evenly sharing $448.4 million Powerball grand purse

Paul White, a project engineer in Minnesota, Mario Scarnici, a retiree from Monmouth Junction, New Jersey, and a group of sixteen hailed as the ‘Ocean’s 16’ also from NJ jointly won the Powerball top prize on August 7th, 2013. Many of the sixteen co-workers from NJ suffered heavy losses during Superstorm Sandy. Each of them pocketed $3.8 million after taxes. Scarnici received $62 million (post taxes) while Paul got $58.3 million following tax deductions.

13. Jeff Lindsay from California was the lone ticket holder to collect a massive $447.8 million jackpot

The Powerball draw organized on 10th July 2017 threw up a winner hailing from California who took his own sweet time for turning up at the lottery office to claim the purse. The winner, Jeff Lindsay who wished to avoid unwarranted publicity had bought 10 Powerball tickets from a liquor store in Menifee, CA. After accepting to receive one single payment of $271.1 million (before taxes), he emerged as the 7th biggest winner in the history of Powerball multistate lottery.

15. Pearlie Smith and her seven adult children are declared winners of the $429.6 million Powerball jackpots

Pearlie Smith and her seven adult children will never forget the Saturday night of May 7th, 2016. Because it was on this day, that the New Jersey family got luckiest as they won $429.6 million in prize money after the Powerball draw was organized. The eldest of the children, Valerie Arthur revealed that they had dreamed the winning numbers.