Mega Millions Winners
There are hundreds of thousands of Mega Millions winners in every drawing, and some players are lucky enough to land multimillion-dollar jackpots. The top prize regularly hits nine figures and keeps on growing, leading to some of the largest lottery jackpots in the world.
Here are the top 10 biggest jackpots in the history of the game:
A run of 25 consecutive rollovers finally came to an end on October 23rd 2018 when a winning ticket in South Carolina won one of the biggest lottery jackpots ever offered at $1.537 billion. After months of speculation, the winner finally came forward on Tuesday, March 5, 2019 to claim the cash option of $877 million. As the winner ticket was sold in South Carolina, the winner was able to claim the jackpot anonymously.
A sequence of 19 draws without a winner pushed the Mega Millions jackpot to record heights in March 2012, before three tickets grabbed a share of the fortune. A group of work colleagues from Milford Mill in Maryland claimed one of the prizes, while another went to an anonymous player from Ottawa, Kansas. Merle and Patricia Butler from Red Bud in Illinois were the last to come forward three weeks later, and said they had ‘giggled for hours’ when they found out. Each winner received $218.6 million before taxes.
Two lucky players split the second-largest jackpot in the games history just before Christmas in 2013. Upon finding out that he had won, delivery truck driver Steve Tran from Northern California left a voice message for his boss to say he was sorry but he would not be coming back to work. The other winner, Ira Curry from Stone Mountain in Georgia, described winning $324 million before taxes as ‘unreal…like I’m still dreaming’.
One of the largest Mega Millions jackpots of all time was claimed by a lottery pool of 11 colleagues from Santa Clara County in California in the summer of 2018. They had not played in any of the previous 22 drawings as the jackpot rolled over, but spontaneously decided to take part on July 24th and bought tickets from Ernie’s Liquors at 2808 South White Road in San Jose. Despite winning more than $49 million each, they said they wanted to keep working together in the financial industry.
A family from Hamilton County in Indiana brought a run of 34 rollovers to an end when they pocketed $536 million on July 8th 2016. They opted for the lump sum payout rather than the annuity and the check was paid out to Warren D LLC. Saying they were ‘humbled and overjoyed’, the family insisted their priority was to ‘maintain a sense of normalcy for our children’.
Richard Wahl from Vernon in New Jersey declared that he wanted his big win to be ‘life-changing for others’ as well as his family after scooping $533 million in March 2018. Wahl, a production manager at a food-service manufacturer, had only moved from Michigan a few months earlier. His success made him the biggest lottery winner ever in New Jersey, and he decided to take the cash option of $324 million.
Shane Missler won the second largest amount on a single ticket after buying five quick pick tickets using his scratchard winnings. The 20-year old background screening worker opted for the cash lump sum of $281.2million and famously updated his facebook status to "Oh. My. God." shortly after the drawing.
Two tickets split the biggest Mega Millions jackpot of 2014. An anonymous player came forward to claim half the money after buying their ticket in La Plata, Maryland, while the other half was paid to the Cobie and Seamus Trust from Merritt Island in Florida.
Patricia Busking and her husband Joe, from Palos Heights in Illinois, spent $5 on tickets after stopping at Nick’s Barbecue for some steak sandwiches, and were rewarded with an extraordinary payout which felt like an ‘out-of-body experience’.
A new record at the time, this colossal prize was split between two tickets. The first winners were Elaine and Harold Messner from Woodbine in New Jersey, while the other entry belonged to Eddie Nabors of Dalton in Georgia.