The Biggest Lottery Wins in History
A few months ago, the life of a man took an unexpected turn – for the better. An unnamed player at the River Belle online casino won the Atlantean Treasures Mega Moolah progressive jackpot, instantly becoming a millionaire – the amount he took home was in excess of $9 million. Certainly, a piece of great news to light up his day, especially in the current situation.
Winning a jackpot worth a few million is a dream for many players around the world. Winning the lottery – which has a much bigger payout – is, in turn, a dream for millions upon millions of people faithfully buying their tickets week after week. And sometimes, the goddess of fortune smiles on them, putting large amounts of money in their pockets. And these are the largest.
Honorable mention: El Gordo, Spain
El Gordo is the name of the Christmas jackpot of Spain’s national lottery – Loterías y Apuestas del Estado. The jackpot is drawn each year during the country’s special Christmas draw – Sorteo Extraordinario de Navidad. The lottery has a potential prize pool worth billions of euros – in 2017, the total amount for its prizes exceeded €2.3 billion. Its jackpot that year was €720 million. This makes the Spanish lottery’s Christmas draw the single biggest lottery in the world.
The top prize is always paid out to multiple winners: in 2011, for example, 180 lucky winners took home €4 million each.
EuroMillions is a lottery spanning across three countries: it was launched by the French, Spanish, and British national lotteries in 2004, with the lottery operators of Austria, Belgium, Ireland, Luxembourg, Portugal, and Switzerland joining later. Draws are held every Tuesday and tickets can be bought for as little as $3.
To date, its record win was paid out four times: in 2012, 2014, 2017, and October 2019, with every winner taking home the same amount, €190 million ($226.8 million today).
Powerball is a lottery that covers 45 US states and a few territories. It is well-known for its massive jackpots that millions of Americans dream of winning at least once.
The lottery had massive jackpots several times, usually won by multiple lucky winners. Sometimes, in turn, a single ticket does the trick – this happened in 2012 when a lucky player from Massachusetts won a jackpot worth $758.7 million ($480.5 million after-tax). Powerball is also responsible for the third biggest lottery win in history – it happened just last year, and the lucky winner took home $477 million.
Mega Millions, USA
In the USA, everything is bigger. State lotteries routinely collect jackpots worth hundreds of millions of dollars. Sometimes, though, when the jackpot amount is rolled over for long enough, they reach truly fabulous amounts. This happened in 2018 when the Mega Millions jackpot reached $1.537 billion.
It was not the biggest ever jackpot – Powerball beat it by almost $50 million a few years before – but it was the biggest ever lottery payout to a single winner: $877.8 million. The winner was a lucky citizen of South Carolina – understandably, they chose to remain anonymous.