Dreaming about this weekend’s Powerball and Mega Millions prizes? Here are the top 5 largest jackpots ever
This weekend, the combined jackpots for the Mega Millions and Powerball lottery drawings total more than $1.2 billion.
By any reckoning, that’s a lot of money.
But while they’re both hefty paydays — heck, we sure wouldn’t turn either of them down — anyone who wins either the $450 million Mega Million drawing tonight or the $570 million Powerball prize on Saturday will not be taking home the largest jackpot ever in either game.
Here are the five biggest lottery prizes in U.S. history, according to this 2017 CNN Money article:
- Jan. 13, 2016: Powerball, $1.6 billion: The largest jackpot ever was split between three winners, the last of whom took six months to come forward to claim their share of the prize. John and Lisa Robinson of Munford, Tennessee were the first to come forward; in fact, they appeared on the “Today” show before they even cashed in their ticket. The Robinsons took their $528.8 million share of the prize in one lump-sum payment of $327.8 million. Maureen Smith, 70, of Melbourne Beach, Fla., did the same. The final third went to Mae and Marvin Acosta, who took six months to claim their prize and refused to speak to the media about it. In a statement, they said they had been assembling a team of advisers.
- August 23, 2017: Powerball, $758.8 million: The largest single-lottery jackpot ever in the United States went to Mavis Wenczyk of Chicopee, Mass., last summer. Wanczyk, 53, claimed her prize in one lump-sum payment of $480.5 million.
- March 30, 2012: Mega Millions, $656 million: This one was also split three ways. Merle and Patricia Butler, a retired couple from Illinois, took their $218.6 million share. A second share went to a group of friends in Maryland, who dubbed themselves “The Three Amigos.” The final share was claimed by a winner in Kansas, which is one of the states that allows lottery winners to remain anonymous, so their identity remains unknown.
- December 17, 2013, Mega Millions, $648 million: This jackpot was split by two winners — Ira Curry, a Georgia woman, and Steve Tran of San Jose.
- May 18, 2013: Powerball,$590.5 million: Gloria Mackenzie, 84, of Florida, was the sole winner of this whopping jackpot. She reportedly was waiting in line at a Publix store when another player let her go ahead of them to purchase her ticket. No word on how often that other player kicked themselves, or whether they’ve stopped since.