Lottery jackpot wins are always worth celebrating, but it has to be said that the biggest lottery wins tend to be the ones that create the most excitement. In this article we will take a whistle-stop-tour of some huge lottery jackpot landmarks and see how much the biggest lottery winners managed to land with their lucky tickets.
The biggest lottery winners are not always to be found in the games that offered the biggest jackpots, and that’s because lottery jackpots can be shared by several winning tickets. For example, the world record for the biggest lottery jackpot of all time was set by the Mega Millions game on Friday 30th March, 2012, where the advertised jackpot was worth $640 million. However, three tickets shared that jackpot the finally rolled in at $656 million, the tickets were sold in Illinois, Kansas and Maryland, so none of the winners could lay claim to being the largest lottery winner.
Even if a single ticket wins a lottery jackpot it doesn’t automatically follow that one player will benefit. The record for the biggest lottery prize ever won by a single ticket in the Powerball game was $177 million ($365 million advertised) on Saturday 18 February, 2006. In this case the ticket was owned by a syndicate of eight players, all of whom worked at a food-packing company called ConAgra, so they shared the prize equally. Although the win was substantial, none of the syndicate members became the largest lottery winner of all time.
Largest Lottery Winner
So who are the biggest lottery winners? Well, there are several possible answers to that question, depending on your perspective…
- The largest lottery winners in Europe to date are Chris and Colin Weir who netted a €185 million (£161.6 million) Euromillions jackpot on Tuesday 12th July 2011.
- The largest lottery winner in the USA (as far as single ticket-holders are concerned) is Andrew Whittaker, a West Virginia player who picked up a $315 million Powerball jackpot on Wednesday 25 December, 2002.
- The largest lottery winner in the UK was again Chris and Colin Weir who took the Euromillions jackpot on 12th July 2011.
These are just some of the biggest lottery winners in the world, but there are many, many more who have won sums that were almost as large. The advantage of someone winning a not-quite-record-breaking jackpot is that they get to escape much of the media attention that is lavished on the biggest lottery winners of all, and can therefore enjoy their multi-millions in relative peace and quiet!