The World's Biggest Lottery Jackpot

In January 2016, three people made history by winning the world-record Powerball lottery jackpot worth a whopping $1.58 billion. The lucky tickets were bought in Munford, Tennessee, Chino Hills, a suburb of Los Angles and at a supermarket in Melbourne Beach, Florida.

Despite the odds being heavily against them (1 in 292 million) the winners still managed to correctly pick the winning combination of numbers 4, 8, 19, 27, 34, and the Powerball 10. The victors had two options regarding the prize money – either select to get paid a third of $984 million in cash or collect 30 yearly installments totaling $533 million.

The first of the three winners were Maureen Smith and David Kaltschmidt, a couple who migrated to Melbourne Beach from Long Island in 1991.  They opted to take a lump sum of $327.8 million.

When asked how they wish to spend the money, Maureen seemed unsure. However, she said that she would certainly be using some of it to help the special people in her life. David, on the other hand, said that he would retire from his engineering job at Northrop Grumman. He also bought a gold GMC Yukon Denali.

Kaltschmidt revealed that he couldn’t believe his wife when she told him that they had won. The couple also had a hard time keeping family and friends in the dark. In fact, David admitted that he couldn’t control himself when he received the news. The couple has since set up a trust called Nickel 95 to manage their money.

The second winners were John and Lisa Robinson from Munford, Tennessee. This couple also opted to take the prize money as a lump sum. John indicated that the winnings will not change their way of life, saying that ‘nobody is guaranteed to have a tomorrow’.

Six months after picking up their prize, the Robinsons changed their initial stance. They retired and purchased a very fancy mansion worth a reported $10 million. The home has a pier, a personal cinema and a fully-equipped gymnasium. It is located on the shores of a beautiful private lake surrounded by dense forest.

The final third of the record Powerball lottery jackpot was won by Marvin and Mae Acosta. Similar to the other winners, the Acostas opted for the $327.8 million lump sum. This couple was silent before claiming their prize money and have continued to stay out of the spotlight since they took home their reward.

One of the main reasons why the Acostas are avoiding publicity is because of the scamming attempts using the charity which they started with the jackpot money. The scammers sent mails to people pretending to be the Acostas in an attempt to swindle innocent people into making donations to a fake website.


Biggest Single Ticket Powerball Winners

Besides the $1.6 billion record prize money, another notable jackpot winning was the $759 million Powerball lottery jackpot won in August 2017. The sole winner, Mavis Wanczyk, opted to take the $336 million lump sum (after tax) resulting from this win. Mavis left her job at a hospital in Springfield then disappeared from the public limelight. To date, nobody knows of her whereabouts.

Prior to the $1.58 billion jackpot win, the record for the biggest Powerball jackpot win was held by Gloria Mackenzie, the sole winner of the Powerball jackpot held in May 2013. She bagged a lump sum of $278 million after paying the required taxes.

Mackenzie used her winnings to upgrade from her rental apartment to a $1.2 million home located in Jacksonville, Florida. She also donated $2 million to renovate a high school in Maine. Gloria promised to spend the rest of her winnings on her son.


The Biggest Lottery Jackpots in History

Having looked at what various jackpot did with their winnings, the following the biggest lottery jackpot prizes in history.

  Amount Lottery Winners
1   $1.586 billion             Powerball  John & Lisa Robinson, Maureen Smith & David Kaltschmidt and Marvin & Mae Acosta
2 $758.7 million Powerball Mavis Wanczyk
3 $656 million Mega Millions Merle and Patricia Butler
4 $548 million Mega Millions Ira Curry and Steve Tran
5 $590.5 million Powerball Gloria Mackenzie

It is worth noting that the winnings in the US are considerably lower because they are taxed. This is why the actual payouts are less than the touted amounts.