The Malta Independent 20 August 2019, Tuesday

The winners of the 5 biggest lottery jackpots in history

Wednesday, 9 January 2019, 09:00 Last update: about 8 months ago

Everyone wants to be a lottery winner, and for most of us, a few million would do the trick. But every now and again a jackpot comes along that makes your eardrums implode from the sound of jaws across the world simultaneously hitting the floor.

All 5 of the biggest lottery jackpots in history have come from the United States, and now you can bet on these featured lotteries from Malta with Let's take a look at the top adrenaline-pumping payouts and the lucky winners who dared to dream.

If you'd like to see your name on this list choose your lucky numbers at and you could be next!

5. $648.0 million - Mega Millions, 2013

The 5th biggest lottery jackpot was split between two winning tickets bought in Georgia and California. Both winners chose the cash lump sum of $173 million each. Ira Curry claimed the prize instantly, whereas Steve Tran didn't realise for weeks that he had won. He recalled thinking that when a mystery winner was announced, someone was going to be a lucky person that night, but it didn't occur to him that he was the one who held the winning ticket until a month later!

4. $656.0 million - Mega Millions, 2012

In 4th place was another multi-winner, this time with three winning tickets bought in Illinois, Kansas and Maryland. The only winners to go public were retired couple Merle & Patricia Butler who went for the ever-popular cash lump sum, netting them a lovely $157.8 million. Merle checked the numbers as they were read out on the news, telling reporters that when his wife realised they'd won, she giggled for 4 hours straight. Tee hee!

3. $758.7 million - Powerball, 2017

Massachusetts resident, Mavis Wanczyk was the only one to beat the odds of 1 in 292.2 million and take home the cash lump sum of $480.5 million. According to mathematician professor Cornelius Nelan, this is "about the same as flipping a coin and having it land on heads 28 times in a row". Mavis seemed completely bowled over by her good fortune, saying that she wanted to spend her first night as a lottery jackpot winner hiding in her bed.

2. $1.537 billion - Mega Millions, 2018

This recent win broke the world record for the biggest lottery payout on a single ticket. After rolling over to more than half a billion dollars, lottery fans were in a frenzy, with tickets flying off the shelves. In the end, one lucky player from South Carolina was the only one to match all the numbers, but they haven't come forward to claim it yet! Let's hope they haven't lost the ticket!

1. $1.6 billion - Powerball, 2016

The biggest jackpot in history to have the potential of being paid out to one winner was ultimately split between three winning tickets bought in California, Florida, and Tennessee. One of the winners, a couple from California, took a full 6 months to claim their $327.8 million lump sum, choosing to lawyer-up and wrap their heads around their win before picking up the cheque. That restraint is to be admired, we'd have it all spent on castles and pedigree kittens by then.

So now that we've blown your mind with these exhilarating jackpot wins, it's time to put your lucky numbers to the test. Head to and bet on the Powerball jackpot today - oh, and make sure to buy us a castle if you win.

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