Jackpot: Top 5 Jackpots So Far For The $1.28 Billion Mega Millions Jackpot
Lottery winners choose between receiving their winnings in an annuity — with payments over 30 years — or the more popular option, a single lump sum payment in a smaller amount.
That’s the option “Shark Tank” star Kevin O’Leary says you should choose. The lump sum payment for a Mega Millions winner on Friday would be around $602.5 million.
Here’s a look at the top lottery prizes ever won so far.
1. $1.586 billion (Powerball)
This Powerball drawing from Jan. 13, 2016, for which three winning tickets were sold, remains history’s biggest lottery prize. The winners — John and Lisa Robinson in Tennessee, Maureen Smith and David Kaltschmidt in Florida, and Marvin and Mae Acosta in California — split the full prize, giving them the option of roughly $533 million before taxes as an annuity or jackpot wins $327.8 million as the lump-sum payment.
2. $1.537 billion (Mega Millions)
The winner of this huge drawing in October 2018 took their time to surface. South Carolina is one of a handful of states that allows lottery winners to claim their prize anonymously, so the ticket-holder — who didn’t make themselves known — finally claimed their winnings in March of the following year, just a little more than a month ahead of the deadline to come forward or risk to win a jackpot forfeiting the prize.
What we do know is that the winner chose the cash after winning the jackpot option for their prize, which resulted in a one-time payment of almost a jackpot of $878 million.
3. $1.05 billion (Mega Millions)
The third- U.S.largest lottery jackpot lottery prize ever was finally won in a January 2021 Mega Millions drawing. But because the winning ticket was bought in Michigan, a state that allows winners to remain anonymous, it took a few months for the public to learn anything about the lottery jackpot winners.
“A club member saw a sign that the jackpot was up to $1 billion and remembered that they hadn’t bought their tickets yet, so they pulled into the Kroger,” Kurt Panouses, the estate lawyer and club representative, told reporters on behalf of the winners last year.
4. $768.4 million (Powerball)
Manuel Franco bought his winning ticket in New Berlin, Wisconsin, a small city located in the suburbs of Milwaukee. When he came forward to claim his prize in April 2019, Franco told reporters that he bought the winning ticket at a time when he had less than $1,000 in his bank account.
Franco chose the lump sum payment option for his jackpot prize, which equaled $477 million. Wisconsin lottery officials said at the time that he would likely take home about $326 million after paying state and federal taxes.
5. $758.7 million (Powerball)
Mavis L. Wanczyk of Chicopee, Massachusetts, claimed the winning ticket for the $758.7 million Powerball jackpot in August of 2017, taking $480.5 million before taxes as the lump sum payment. One of the first subsequent things Wanczyk did was tell her employer of 32 years, Mercy Medical Center, that she was quitting.
Update: This story has been updated to reflect the Mega Millions jackpot’s updated value of $1.28 billion.
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