The U.S. is once again in the throes of lottery fever. At the time of this writing, the Mega Millions jackpot is up to a record $1.6 billion and the Powerball is sitting pretty at $620 million.
Staunch naysayers who dismiss playing the lotto as paying a “voluntary tax” are suddenly appearing in lines to pick a few tickets. Yes, we love to dream.
For a few extremely lucky lotto players, that dream came true. These are the top five highest lottery jackpots and the people who won them.
5. $590.5 million, May 18, 2013
Florida’s Gloria Mackenzie was the sole winner of a Powerball jackpot worth over $590 million in May 2013. At the time, it was the largest jackpot ever won by one person.
4. $648 million, Dec. 17, 2013
Ira Curry of Georgia and Steve Tran of California split a massive $648 million Mega Millions jackpot in December 2013.
3. $656 million, March 29, 2012
This Mega Millions jackpot had three winning tickets. One ticket was purchased by Merle and Patricia Butler of Illinois. The other winning tickets were sold in Maryland and Kansas, where winners can remain anonymous.
2. $758.7 million, Aug. 23, 2017
This massive Powerball jackpot smashed the previous record for the biggest win for a single ticket when Mavis Wanczyk of Massachusetts won it in August 2017.
1. $1.59 billion, Jan. 13, 2016
Three winners claimed the Powerball prize that would be the biggest jackpot in history (until someone wins the current Mega Millions, that is). Maureen Smith and David Kaltschmidt of Melbourne Beach; Marvin and Mae Acosta of California; and John and Lisa Robinson of Tennessee claimed the three tickets with a cash value of $327.8 million each.
Source: Florida Today