The 10 Biggest Lottery Jackpot Winners of All Time

Imagine what it could be like to cash in on a big lottery jackpot.

lottery ticket and pencil
Updated July 18, 2024
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Have you ever thought about what you would do if you won a huge lottery jackpot?

Lottery games like Mega Millions and Powerball can give huge payouts to players who have the winning ticket, and it can be fun to dream about how you would spend that money or use it to boost your bank account.

But just how big have the biggest jackpots been? Here are 10 jackpots sure to make you dream about winning the lottery.

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10. $1.08 billion

Sean Gladwell/Adobe lottery numbers

A Powerball ticket sold on July 19, 2023, in California, included a bit of a mystery when the winner didn’t quickly come forward.

Powerball winner Yanira Alvarez finally claimed her prize in March 2024, eight months after the drawing. She opted to take the lump sum payout of more than $500 million before taxes.

9. $1.13 billion

LIGHTFIELD STUDIOS/Adobe couple holding lottery tickets

One lucky person picked the winning numbers for the Mega Millions jackpot on March 26, 2024.

The winner purchased the ticket in New Jersey, one of 18 states where winners can remain anonymous, so residents may never know who bought the ticket in Monmouth County. 

If they took the lump sum payout, it would have been $537.5 million, or $408.5 million after federal taxes were automatically withheld.

8. $1.326 billion

BGStock72/Adobe random lottery

A Powerball ticket was sold on April 7, 2024, which made three lucky winners ultra-rich.

The tickets were sold in Oregon, to husband and wife Cheng and Duanpen Saephan and their friend Laiza Chao. They had the opportunity to take the full $1.326 billion as an annuitized prize that pays out over time or take a lump sum payment of $621 million.

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7. $1.337 billion

mehaniq41/Adobe holding lottery tickets

Mega Millions found a mega winner on July 29, 2022, with a ticket sold in Illinois for a big payday.

Two people came forward a few months after the drawing to claim the prize for the one winning ticket and split the jackpot. Like New Jersey, Illinois is also a state where winners remain anonymous.

6. $1.348 billion

Sergey/Adobe person marking in lottery ticket

Maine got its first Mega Millions winner when the winning ticket was sold on January 13, 2023.

The winner came forward a month later to claim the prize using a limited liability company (LLC), as a way to remain anonymous. They chose the lump sum payment of nearly $500 million after taxes.

5. $1.537 billion

smuki/Adobe man play lottery

When the winner matched all the numbers on their Mega Millions ticket on October 23, 2018, it was the largest Mega Millions jackpot at the time — but that mark has since been eclipsed.

The winner bought the ticket in South Carolina and decided to remain anonymous when they claimed their lump-sum payment, which came to more than $877 million, or about $492 million after federal and state taxes.

4. $1.586 billion

New Africa/Adobe woman filling out lottery tickets

Sometimes you won’t be the only one with the winning numbers, as was the case with the Powerball winners on January 13, 2016.

There were three winners with winning tickets sold in California, Florida, and Tennessee. The odds of winning were one in 292.2 million.

3. $1.602 billion

Sean Gladwell/Adobe lotto ticket

The winning ticket for the Mega Millions jackpot on August 8, 2023, was sold at a Publix store in Neptune Beach, Florida.

The winner came forward a month later to claim the prize but was able to do so anonymously at the time due to Florida law. They took the lump sum payment of nearly $800 million.

2. $1.765 billion

The Toidi/Adobe lottery play slips with black pen

Powerball struck gold on October 11, 2023, for one ticket sold in California.

Theodorus Struyck came forward six months later to claim the prize for a group of winners. California does not allow winners to get the prize anonymously or through a trust or LLC, but Struyck also hasn’t confirmed how many winners he represents including himself.

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1. $2.04 billion

LEe/Adobe close up of lottery ticket

A Powerball winner from November 7, 2022, still holds the record for the biggest lottery jackpot.

The ticket was sold in California to Edwin Castro, who opted to take the lump sum payment of $997.6 million rather than the annuitized winnings.

Bottom line

makaule/Adobe closeup of marked lottery ticket

Winning the lottery can be an exciting moment, but it’s also important to make sure you can handle the windfall of cash.

You’ll want to find ways to get out of debt by paying your bills as well as finding places to save it or invest it so the money can continue to help you in the years ahead.

It’s also a good idea to assemble a team of financial lawyers and accountants to ensure you’re paying the correct taxes and investing properly.

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Author Details

Jenny Cohen

Jenny Cohen is a freelance writer who has covered a bit of everything, from finance to sports to her favorite TV shows. Her work has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and