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Have you ever dreamed about winning the lottery but woke up to discover that, like for so many others, it can only happen in your dreams? Well… somebody does actually win those massive lottery jackpots that we hear about on the news. I imagine the people who have won the biggest lottery jackpots in history probably had to pinch themselves to be sure that they were not just dreaming.
What’s the Biggest Lottery Jackpot in US History?
1. $2.04 Billion – Powerball
To date, Powerball holds the record for the largest-ever jackpot in US history, set on Nov. 8, 2022. The winning ticket, worth $2.04 billion, was sold to a single winner at Joe’s Service Center in Altadena, California – according to the NY Times.
Biggest Lottery Jackpots in History
$2 billion is a nice chunk of change. But some of the previous record-setting jackpots are nothing to sneeze at. Here are more recent billion-dollar-plus winners…
2. $1.586 Billion – Powerball
At the time, Powerball held the world record for the largest jackpot, set on Jan. 13, 2016. The jackpot, worth $1.586 billion, was shared by three winners. The winning tickets were sold at a 7-Eleven in Chino Hills, California; Naifeh’s Food Mart in Munford, Tennessee; and a Publix grocery in Melbourne Beach, Florida, according to USA Today.
3. $1.537 Billion – Mega Millions
For only the second time in history, on Oct. 23, 2018, a lottery jackpot surpassed the billion-dollar mark. The Mega Millions jackpot, worth $1.537 billion, was won by a single player who purchased the winning ticket at a KC Mart in Simpsonville, South Carolina, according to CBS News.
4. $1.35 Billion – Mega Millions
This billion-dollar-plus Mega Millions prize, for $1.35 billion, was awarded on Friday, January 13, 2023, to a single winner. The winner has not yet been identified, and it is possible that we may never know who won this jackpot because anonymity is an option in the state where the winning ticket was purchased. The winning ticket was sold at Hometown Gas & Grill in Lebanon, Maine.
5. $1.337 Billion – Mega Millions
This billion-dollar-plus Mega Millions prize, for $1.337 billion, was awarded on July 29, 2022, to two winners, on a single ticket (shared ticket). The winner is unknown at the time I am updating this article. The winning ticket was purchased somewhere in Maine.
6. $1.05 Billion – Mega Millions
A four-person lotto club in Michigan, The Wolverine FLL Club, won this Mega Millions jackpot worth $1.05 billion on Jan. 22, 2021. The winners chose the lump-sum cash payment, estimated to be $776 million, according to a press release. The winning ticket was bought at a Kroger grocery store in Novi, Michigan.
More About Powerball and Mega Millions
Most states with lotteries available to play have their own state-specific lottery games. However, many states also include Powerball and Mega Millions, which are massive multi-state lottery games. As the Washington Post explains…
“Mega Millions and Powerball are the two largest jackpot lottery games in the United States. They both cost $2 and require players to pick five numbers for the lottery’s white balls and one number for the gold Mega Ball or red Powerball. In each game, players can win smaller prizes if they match lesser combinations of the winning numbers.”
What are the Odds of Winning Mega Millions or Powerball?
The odds are not good! I’m sure you’ve heard the sayings… “You’re more likely to get struck by lightning,” or “You’re more likely to die in a car accident on your way to the store to purchase the lottery ticket.” Nevertheless, people continue to play, despite the terrible odds.
Here are the mathematical odds of winning one of these huge multi-state lottery jackpots with one set of numbers…
- Mega Millions – 1 in 302,575,350
- Powerball – 1 in 292,201,338
Please note: these odds are just for winning the massive jackpots that these games award. The odds are slightly higher that you’ll win one of the lesser prizes in each game. Please visit the respective websites for each game (Powerball and Mega Millions) to learn more.
Good luck if you choose to take your chances on one of these lottery games. Lord knows you’ll need it. You’ll probably need more than just sheer luck to actually win a jackpot. You’ll need luck combined with an unexplainable supernatural force – or something of the like. Lol. Happy lotto-ing!