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The Highest Ever Jackpots Won in Lotteries

Author: Neha Agrawal

Whenever anybody thinks of a lottery jackpot, naturally they assume it was a massive sum of money. The phrase, “if I won the lottery...,” always implies that the winner will be taking home a jackpot in the millions of pounds range. However, many of the world’s highest ever lottery jackpot winnings are well in excess of that, ridiculously so.

Despite the Euro Millions offering Europe’s highest lottery jackpot, with its record prize of €190,000,000, it pales in comparison with those jackpots won across the pond in the United States.

The fifth highest jackpot ever won is an already swollen $365,000,000, won by a player from Nebraska on 18 February 2006. While that might blow the Euro Millions jackpot out of the water, the fourth highest ever lottery prize won is some distance ahead of even that.

Three hundred and eighty million, the fourth highest lottery jackpot was won on the Mega Millions jackpot game in January 2011. Holly Lahti of Rathdrum, Idaho, and Jim and Carolyn McCullar of Ephrata, Washington, shared the spoils in this case.

Ten million more than that $380,000,000 haul was won four years earlier in the third largest lottery jackpot ever. The sixth of March was the day that three hundred and ninety million was won by two players, one in the state of Georgia, and the other in New Jersey. Up to two hundred and thirty three million dollars of that lottery prize was paid out in cash.

The second highest ever lottery win in the world is so far ahead of that though, that it is a wonder the winner didn’t have a coronary when they discovered their luck. A monumental five hundred and eighty seven million five hundred thousand dollars ($587,500,000) was scooped up on the 28th of November last year, with the winnings being split between two players, one in Arizona, and the other from Missouri.

As incredible as that sounds, even the second highest lottery jackpot ever won in the world pales in comparison to the current world record for the highest lottery jackpot ever paid out. Playing the Mega Million jackpot on the thirtieth of March last year, three lottery winners from Kansas, Illinois, and Maryland, shared an absolutely mind boggling, truly life changing and bank shattering, lottery prize of six hundred and forty million dollars.

For those interested in the lottery win records from across the globe however, the current European jackpot winning record is held by a Euro Millions winner from the United Kingdom, who scooped up £161,700,000 ($260,000,000).

Although we can see a clear difference between the fifth and first place lottery win record holders for the greatest payouts, to be fair, it doesn’t really matter does it? What can you do with six hundred million dollars that you can’t with three hundred million? Either way, these winners lives were changed beyond belief, and with proper handling of their lottery prize winnings, they, nor their descendants, should ever have to work again.