11 May Biggest Powerball Jackpot Winners
You may be wondering why there have been so many massive jackpots in the lottery in recent years. According to lottery officials, key changes to the games over the years coupled with higher prices of lottery tickets have allowed huge jackpots to become increasingly common in the multistate Mega Millions and Powerball lottery drawings. The changes in the games’ formulas made the chances of winning any prize higher, even as it decreased players’ likelihood of winning the jackpot.
Since 2016, six jackpots between the two lotteries in the United States have surpassed $1 billion. In the past year alone, three of these billion-dollar Mega Millions and Powerball jackpot prizes have been won by individuals or groups. In January 2023, a lone lottery ticket holder in the state of Maine won a Mega Millions jackpot worth $1.35 billion, the fourth-largest lottery prize in U.S. history.
After less than a month, the Powerball jackpot of $754.6 million, the ninth largest lottery jackpot in U.S. history was won on February 6. The single winning ticket was sold in Washington according to Powerball officials.
The Biggest U.S. Mega Millions and Powerball Jackpot Winners
Here’s a list of the 10 biggest U.S. lottery jackpots in history in Mega Millions and Powerball.
1. $2.04 billion
On November 7, 2022, the largest lottery jackpot Powerball draw worth $2.04 billion was won. The winnings made the ticket holder the first lottery billionaire in the state. The ticket was purchased at Joe’s Service Center in Altadena, California. As of early January 2023, two months after the draw, it was unclear whether the winner had claimed the prize. It was only on February 14 that the California Lottery officials made known the winner’s name as Edwin Castro. No further biographical information was released at the individual’s request.
2. $1.586 billion
Three separate ticket holders won the second-biggest jackpot prize amount of $1.586 billion from the Powerball lottery. The winning numbers which were drawn on January 13, 2016, were bought in three separate places – in Munford, a town in Tennessee, at a supermarket in Melbourne Beach, Florida, and in the modest Los Angeles suburb of Chino Hills. That jackpot had some mystery as the California winners didn’t come forward until about six months later.
Getting $528 million each when sharing the top prize is something everybody could live with, said a California Lottery spokesman at the time.
3. $1.54 billion
The third largest lottery prize was Mega Millions’ largest jackpot. The winning ticket drawn on October 23, 2018, was not claimed until March 2019. The single winner was a South Carolina woman, who came forward through a lawyer and chose cash option in a one-time lump sum of $877,784,124 instead of taking annuity payouts over 30 years.
4. $1.35 billion
The winner of the fourth largest prize in U.S. lottery history was a single ticket holder in Maine. The winning ticket which won an estimated jackpot of $1.35 billion in the Mega Millions drawing on Jan. 13, 2023, was bought on Friday the 13th. It was sold at Hometown Gas & Grill in Lebanon, Maine, according to state lottery officials. The winner claimed their winnings through a limited liability company, La Koma Island Investments LLC.
5. $1.337 billion
The $1.337 billion Mega Millions jackpot amount, the fifth largest prize in U.S. lottery history has been claimed by two people who wish to remain anonymous. The single ticket to the late July 29, 2022 drawing was sold in a lottery retailer in a Chicago suburb, at a Speedway gas station and convenience store in Des Plaines. The two individuals had agreed to split the prize.
6. $1.05 billion
A group identified as the Wolverine FLL Club of Oakland County, a four-member lottery club, won a ticket for just over $1 billion in the Mega Millions draw date on Jan. 22, 2021. The winning playslip was bought from a Kroger grocery store in Novi, a city with a population of about 60,000 located 30 miles northwest of Detroit. The numbers were randomly selected by the machine that printed the ticket. The winners elected to receive their prize as a one-time, lump-sum prize payment of $776 million instead of annuity payments for the full amount over 30 years.
7. $768.4 million
Manuel Franco of Wisconsin was the sole winner of the Powerball prize of $768.4 million prize in the Powerball drawing on March 27, 2019. He elected to take the $477 million lump sum payment from Wisconsin Lottery instead of the annuity payments over 30 years. After taxes, Franco will receive a little more than $326 million. Mr. Franco believed the sum was enough for him to quit his job within two days of winning. Since there was no law in Wisconsin protecting the identities of people who win the lottery, he was required to come forward publicly.
8. $758.7 million
Mavis L. Wanczyk of Chicopee, a 53-year-old healthcare worker for 32 years in patient care at Mercy Medical Center in Massachusetts, became a millionaire when she won the Powerball on August 23, 2017. She immediately quit her job when she realized she had the winning ticket. Ms. Wanczyk opted for a lump-sum payment of $480.5 million. After taxes, 25 percent of the amount went to the federal government and 5 percent to her state. She took home $336 million.
9. $754.6 million
A single winning ticket for the Powerball jackpot for February 6, 2023, was sold in Washington, according to lottery officials. The prize reached $754.6 million, after more than two months without a prize winner, making it the fifth-largest Powerball jackpot, and the ninth-largest overall in U.S. history. It is worth $407.2 million when taken as cash. The winner of the jackpot was revealed by Washington’s Lottery on Friday afternoon as Becky Bell, an Auburn resident who has worked for Boeing for 36 years. She claimed the Powerball jackpot on Tuesday, February 28.
10. $731.1 million
On January 20, 2021, a jackpot prize with a cash value of more than $700 million went to the buyer of the winning Powerball ticket in Maryland. The lone winning ticket was sold at Coney Market in Lonaconing, a small town in Western Maryland. Lottery winners in the state can choose to remain anonymous. The winner accepted the prize under the nickname “The Power Pack.”
Do You Want to Be the Next US Lottery Jackpot Winner?
Just like any other lottery games, the Mega Millions and Powerball lotteries are also games of luck. But in order to be “luckier” to play Powerball and win the jackpot from overall odds, there are some things you can do such as being familiar with the game rules, trying out different Powerball number combinations, buying more Powerball tickets to have more chances of winning, studying about possible patterns from consecutive drawings or multi-draw, including a Power Play multiplier, choosing a Quick Pick, and reading more about Powerball news and updates. If you want to stay on top of lottery news and drawing results of the next draw, visit and subscribe to Lottery Current and be the next Powerball or Mega Millions jackpot winner!