The Biggest Lottery Wins in the World

Most of us have fantasized about hitting the jackpot multiple times in our lives. Even though the odds are usually against us, it does seem like a real possibility. After all, many people from all walks of life have managed to do just that.

The amount of money one can actually win in such a way varies depending on many things, though. Some lotteries have limited resources and can’t offer substantial cash prizes, while others have enough funds to operate on a statewide or even nationwide scale. Check out the latest Georgia Lottery results, for example. If you manage to get your numbers right, you can become over 100 million dollars richer overnight!

While that sum might seem quite big, it will probably look small compared to some of the biggest lottery wins in the world. The majority of staggering, record-breaking ones have been recorded in the last two decades thanks to how easy obtaining a lottery ticket has become.

Europe Great for Lottery Winners?

Winning the lottery seems to be especially beneficial for the residents of European countries, in the majority of which lottery wins aren’t taxed. In comparison, in the United States, the IRS can make the lottery winners pay up to 37% of their winnings in taxes.

The biggest lottery in Europe is called EuroMillions, and it’s commonly associated with Europe’s largest jackpot to date. In February of 2006, a total cash prize of around $210 million was shared between three different ticket holders from France and Portugal.

Multiple millionaires were also made thanks to SuperEnalotto, an Italian lottery. A ticket sold in Tuscany in August of 2009 became Europe’s biggest winning ticket. The lucky winner was paid a lump sum of around $170 million. That particular lottery is also responsible for three other staggering European jackpots, ranging from $190 million to $230 million.

Cash Prizes in American Lotteries the Highest in the World

All of the most sizeable jackpots of all time came from the United States. Powerball and Mega Millions, the most popular lotteries in the country, offer cash prizes that can amount to hundreds of millions of dollars. Because of that, American lottery winners make headlines not only in their home country but around the world as well!

Jack Whittaker, the president of a construction company from West Virginia, bought a winning Powerball ticket on the 25th of December in 2002. The jackpot that Christmas Day was extraordinarily high, and as a result, his win added up to $314 million in cash.

When it comes to the more interesting and recent wins, eight co-workers from a meat-processing plant in Nebraska hit the Powerball jackpot in February of 2006. They managed to win a grand total of $365 million.

Another huge win was reported in New York in March of 2011. Seven employees from the same IT firm shared one winning ticket and as a result, had to divide over $319 million among themselves. In the end, they took home over $19 million each.

However, those aren’t even the highest wins! Two residents of Florida, Shane Missler, and Gloria C. MacKenzie won two unprecedented Mega Millions jackpots, which amounted to $451 million and $590 million, respectively.

Top Winners of the Last Decade

The three biggest wins that were reported in the last decade were also the biggest wins of all time. In March of 2012, three Mega Millions tickets hit a whopping $656 million jackpot. Despite how large that sum is, a few people have managed to score even greater wins in recent years.

A South Carolina resident, who chose to stay anonymous, claimed a gigantic sum of money in October of 2018. Their Mega Millions ticket scored over $1.537 billion, and as of today, it’s the all-time record for this particular lottery.

It’s not the largest jackpot in history though. That title goes to the Powerball jackpot of January of 2016, which amounted to over $1.587 billion! It was split between three different winners and to this day, it’s still a record that’s yet to be beaten.


It seems unreasonable to some, but many people have always been eager to try their luck at winning the lottery. Indeed, you might not be able to hit the jackpot on your first try, but it shouldn’t make you feel discouraged! You can always count on getting your hands on smaller cash prizes.

You might not have been able to score any lottery wins recently, and it’s perfectly fine. Just taking part in a lottery is pretty fun! Choosing the right numbers, buying your ticket, and then watching the lottery draw live on TV is an exhilarating experience.

The fact that the odds are generally against you is what makes it all so thrilling. In the end, the ticket that you bought for the next lottery draw might end up being the winning one after all!

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Elijah Lucas

Elijah is a professional blogger who writes about technologies to inspire their target audience.